Formula E: Full-race simulations completed at Donington Park (VIDEO)

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Roughly one month ahead of its inaugural race in Beijing, the all-electric FIA Formula E series has announced that it’s completed two full-event simulations at the UK’s Donington Park track.

According to the series, a temporary pitlane and pit boxes were assembled. For the second simulation, each of the 10 F-E teams (including American-based teams Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing) ran all of their cars through two “non-qualifying” sessions, qualifying, and an endurance test.

Those were all run to the single-day race schedule that will be in place during the 2014-2015 season, which goes as follows:

  • Two morning, non-qualifying sessions of 45 minutes and then 30 minutes in length
  • A qualifying session split into four groups of five cars, with the order randomly selected beforehand
  • A race of approximately 60 minutes in length with the exact race distance determined on that day.

As part of the simulation, teams and drivers got to simulate a full standing start and pit stops, which will be quite different from the norm. In F-E, one mandatory stop must be made during the race by drivers in order for them to change to their second car.

Additionally, off-track matters such as credential procedures, operational/IT infrastructures, and television broadcasting were all tested as well.

“Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation,” F-E CEO Alejandro Agag said in a statement.

“We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall, we’re very pleased with how things went.”

F-E’s fifth and final preseason test session will take place next Tuesday, Aug. 19, at Donington Park. The first race of the year, the Beijing ePrix, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).