Formula E: Prost concludes Donington test on top; Andretti set for powertrain revert

Leave a comment

Times didn’t fall but rain did to conclude the latest FIA Formula E Championship two-day test at Donington Park, the final preseason test before the 2015-’16 championship opens in Beijing on October 17.

Nicolas Prost of Renault e.dams topped the timesheets at a 1:30.513, which was a little more than half a second off Lucas di Grassi’s 1:29.920 set last week.

Sebastien Buemi made it a 1-2 for Renault e.dams with a best time of 1:30.801, with Jerome d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Bruno Senna (Mahindra Racing) also in the 1:30 segment. Venturi’s Stephane Sarrazin completed the top five.

Notable beyond the top runners were the respective FIA Formula E testing debuts for ex-GP2 stars Robin Frijns and Stefano Coletti, the latter of whom is in the midst of a mid-week trip to Europe in-between the Pocono and Sonoma IndyCar races.

Frijns tested with Amlin Andretti Formula E, completing 21 laps, while Coletti banked 20 laps for Team Aguri.

Frijns and Simona de Silvestro’s 11 laps for Andretti – a combined 32 – were particular notable in what’s been a troubled preseason testing period.

Relief may come by way of a last-minute revert to its 2014-’15 powertrain, utilized in season one, to help increase reliability.

It sees the team shift from the ATEC-01, which uses a revised four-speed Hewland gearbox, back to the season one Spark SRT_01E, which has a McLaren electronics system and five-speed Hewland gearbox.

De Silvestro’s testing stint this summer has been her latest struggle in a career faced with obstacles, but where her resiliency often shines through.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).