Formula E

Valencia reinstated as Formula E pre-season test venue

Sep 9 2020
By Sam Smith

The pre-season Formula E test is now being planned to take place at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia for a fourth consecutive year.

The Race can reveal that, despite initial intentions for Donington Park to host the test, Valencia will again be the venue for the event later this year.

Donington had originally been pinpointed because it would have provided an easier logistical operation for cars to be freighted to the season-opening race. This was at first intended to be the Diriyah races at the end of the year before being changed in June to a start at the Santiago E-Prix in January.

Formula E Operations is believed to have been lobbied by the competing teams about changing the venue. This is believed to have been mainly due to potential disruption from likely inclement weather in the UK during November and December.

Valencia has an average temperature of 17 degrees in November with five hours of daily sunshine and has been deemed more suitable for constructive testing.

Specific dates are yet to be absolutely confirmed but The Race has learned that testing could run over the final weekend of November from approximately the 27th of the month until Tuesday December 1. However, there is understood to be scope for dates just either side of these.

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The mooted timing could cause issues for new Envision Virgin driver Nick Cassidy – who is scheduled to be taking part in the final Super GT round at Fuji over the weekend of 28-29 November.

Should he be in title contention, Cassidy would likely not to be available for the test, which is a crucial one for his team as it does not have a private testing allocation due to its Audi customer status.

The Valencia test will be critical for the majority of the teams as some will have recently completed homologation of their 2021 packages while others will still be testing components to phase in through the second slots of homologation, which will kick in for the first European round scheduled to be the Rome E-Prix in April.

By regulation, the test has to be of at least three days. It has previously been broken up with a day given over to various operational, media and PR activities.

It is likely that teams will leave their race cars in storage for a period at the circuit before they are transported to Chile in the early new year for the first-ever world championship E-Prix in Santiago.

Teams are waiting to hear from Formula E whether or not they can stay extra days in Valencia after the test so cars can have extra preparation time before they are sent to Chile.

Valencia was used as a storage facility for three months earlier this year during the pandemic lockdown period before cars were transported back to teams in June.

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