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Bird Fastest in Ad Diriyah Test

Envision Virgin driver Sam Bird set the fastest time in Sunday’s first in-season test…

Photo: Envision Virgin Racing

Sam Bird set the fastest time during the six hours of testing in Ad Diriyah on Sunday, while Simona de Silvestro was the quickest of the guest female drivers.

Bird peaked on a lap of 1:09.668 in the afternoon session to outpace Saturday’s race runner-up Jean-Eric Vergne by 0.132 seconds in his Envision Virgin Racing Audi e-tron FE05.

The Brit’s best lap was the fastest ever at the new Saudi Arabian track which only had dry running during the race yesterday following rain showers in the morning.

Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland was third fastest after leading most of the session on a 1:10.264 before being demoted by Bird and Vergne.

Stoffel Vandoorne completed the most laps during the afternoon as HWA Racelab continues to gather data for its inaugural Formula E campaign.

He placed fourth with a peak lap of 1:10.283 but caused a red flag in the final moments of the test when he glanced the barrier at Turn 14.

Mitch Evans placed fifth in his Panasonic Jaguar Racing I-Type 3, just 0.02 seconds off the Belgian’s time.

De Silvestro was the quickest of the eight female drivers present with a best time of 1:12.048 in her Venturi VFE-05.

The Swiss driver’s afternoon time slightly bettered Tatiana Calderon’s 1:12.229 best in the No. 36 DS Techeetah E-Tense FE19.

Jamie Chadwick set a 1:13.042 best for NIO in the afternoon after her first session time was compromized by a battery issue.

The morning session saw three red flag periods to recover cars stranded on the circuit.

The first one was to recover Amna Al Qubaisi’s Envision Virgin car which stopped after glancing the wall at Turn 6.

The incident broke the car’s driveshaft and Al Qubaisi was forced to sit out the afternoon running.

After Max Guenther stopped his Dragon Penske EV-3, Nico Mueller’s Audi then had to be recovered after a brake issue caused him to hit the wall at Turn 11.

The first red flag in the afternoon was caused by Tom Dillmann crashing the NIO car which he shared with teammate Oliver Turvey.

Dillmann clipped the wall at the apex of Turn 3 damaging the car and bringing a halt to its running with 80 minutes of the session remaining.

RESULTS: Test Session 1
RESULTS: Test Session 2

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    December 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    As normal, De Silvestro the fastest girl in the world, but still +1 seconds behind the best guys.

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