18 Oct 19

Guenther king of testing for BMW, 22 cars separated by a second 

BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther sets the fastest time in pre-season testing ahead of what looks to be the most competitive ABB FIA Formula E Championship to date as 21 cars finish within a second of each other 

Despite only a year's worth of experience in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Max Guenther set the fastest lap of 2019/20 pre-season testing with a time of 1:15.087. The new BMW recruit held his place at the top of the standings throughout the three days, consistently finishing within the top seven. Behind him, was Mahindra Racing's Pascal Wehrlein with a 1:15.190 lap and behind him, Geox Dragon's Nico Mueller with a 1:15.198 lap time.   

Guenther's performance comes one year after BMW dominated testing with Antonio Felix da Costa and Alex Sims behind the wheel. Despite the strong start, the marque lost its lead after round two in the 2018/19 season. 

For reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne, the DS Techeetah driver managed a best finish of third in the first test session on Monday. The two-time champ claims he has nothing to prove but is still keen to build on his impressive Formula E career to secure a third title.

TAG Heuer Porsche's new pairing Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani failed to make it into the top ten fastest times, with Lotterer securing a best finish of 11th in the afternoon of the second day of testing. The outfit's humble approach to Formula E with it's 'start from zero' campaign combined with the results from testing would suggest there's a long road ahead for the German marque as it grapples with the new challenge. 

One notable absence from the top half of the timesheets was Mercedes-Benz EQ rookie Nyck de Vries, who remained near the bottom of the standings throughout the three days of testing. Fresh from winning the Formula 2 Championship, de Vries battled technical issues early on in testing before colliding with the wall on the second day. 

For his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, the Belgian driver made it further up the rankings than his teammate but still failed to break into the top ten on any of the three testing days. With a year of learning gained with Mercedes ghost team HWA Racelab, time will tell if the Mercedes-Benz EQ works team will field a competitive challenger. 

Struggling to break out of the twenties was newly-named NIO 333 team, as seasoned Formula E driver Oliver Turvey led his new teammate Ma Qing Hua. Ma achieved a best place finish of 21st over the three days, while Turvey made it up to 18th. 

After three days of on-track testing, the cars and drivers will next go head-to-head in the season opener in Saudi Arabia on November 22nd.