Nicolas Prost offered a sign of things to come in the second FIA Formula E season by smashing last year’s Beijing ePrix lap record by over four seconds.
For the first time in Formula E, teams were offered the chance to test on Friday ahead of the race weekend as the final preparations for the start of the new season continue.
Teams are allowed to race with their own powertrains in season two, with just two – Amlin Andretti and Team Aguri – opting to use the unit from the first season.
Running in his Renault e.dams car, Prost laid down an impressive pace to top the timesheets with a fastest lap of 1:37.291 seconds, finishing six-tenths clear of teammate Sebastien Buemi.
In comparison, Bruno Senna’s fastest lap in last year’s ePrix was 1:41.341, a time that all of the top ten drivers managed to beat in the collective test.
Those racing with in-house powertrains displayed an early advantage in Beijing, with Antonio Felix da Costa finishing as the lead Aguri/Andretti runner in P12, some 4.2 seconds off the pace.
However, such a pace disparity was clear throughout the field as the e.dams drivers finished over 1.5 seconds clear of the field. Jean-Eric Vergne finished third for Virgin, 2.1 seconds behind Prost’s P1 time.
The Formula E weekend will continue and culminate on Saturday, with the regular practice, qualifying and race sessions all taking place. The collective Friday test is thought to be a one-off, and is not set to return in Putrajaya.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”