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ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI AND JOEL ERIKSSON COMPLETE FORMULA E ROOKIE TEST FOR DS VIRGIN RACING

Antonio Giovinazzi and Joel Eriksson completed a successful first test of the all-electric DS Virgin Racing Formula E car on Sunday during the inaugural Formula E rookie test in Marrakesh.

The day after the Marrakesh E-Prix, the Formula E rookie test was held at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, with the occasion marking the first time Giovinazzi, 24, and Eriksson, 19, had sampled the DSV-03 – completing a combined total of 103 laps around the 2.97km temporary street circuit.

Split into two three-hour sessions, the morning stint saw the pair finish in the top five before rain limited running into the interval. Conditions improved for the afternoon with times tumbling and Giovinazzi ending the day seventh overall (1:20.876s) with Eriksson just behind in ninth (1:20.971s) – both a few tenths off qualifying pace from Saturday’s Marrakesh E-Prix.

Speaking after the test Giovinazzi said: “Today has been really fun. The car is very different to anything I’ve driven in the past with less downforce and more focus on the braking, but it was an enjoyable day.”

Eriksson said: “It’s a fun car to drive but for sure very different to what I’m used to with the instant torque and different sound. It’s been a good day learning with the team and getting experience of Formula E.”

Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “Both Antonio and Joel have a strong pedigree in single-seaters, so it was interesting to see how they fared in our race-winning Formula E car. Overall, they did a good job for the team as we worked through our testing programme.”

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It was interesting to see a young generation of drivers in the series and every test session is obviously a good opportunity to draw new learnings and to optimise the performance of our car.”

The next rounds of the 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship take place on 3 February at the inaugural Santiago E-Prix.

ABB FIA Formula E Championship

Rookie Test (Combined Times):

  1. Nico Muller, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 1:19.651s
  2. Pietro Fittipaldi, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +0.946s
  3. Maximilian Gunther, DRAGON, +1.006s
  4. Paul di Resta, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, +1.123s
  5. James Rossiter, TECHEETAH, +1.143s
  6. Daniel Juncadella, Mahindra Racing, +1.223s
  7. Antonio Giovinazzi, DS Virgin Racing, +1.225s
  8. Andrea Caldarelli, DRAGON, +1.313s
  9. Joel Eriksson, DS Virgin Racing, +1.320s
  10. Nyck de Vries, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, +1.457s

PODIUM FOR SAM BIRD IN MARRAKESH

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird secured third place during Saturday’s Formula E Marrakesh E-Prix, with team-mate Alex Lynn once again securing a points finish. This result puts Bird just four points off first place in the drivers’ championship with the team second overall in the teams’ standings.

Held at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, race day saw both Bird and Lynn perform strongly in qualifying, finishing second and sixth respectively – despite very changeable weather conditions.

After maintaining their qualifying positions off the start line, Bird was challenging Sebastien Buemi for the lead in the opening laps, whilst Lynn was looking strong in sixth until he was hit from behind by Daniel Abt at Turn 1. The German driver was subsequently penalised, but Lynn – now right down the order in the 33 lap race – was able to produce a strong comeback drive to end the day ninth.

Meanwhile, Bird was unable to hold on to his P2 slot from a charging Felix Rosenqvist but came home to pick up the 11th podium finish of his Formula E career and remain a strong title contender heading into the next rounds in Chile.

Sam Bird commented: “Not everything went the way we wanted it to this weekend, but third place is still a strong result for me and the team, with yet more championship points. It’s a good platform for us to build on for the races ahead and we hope it continues.”

Alex Lynn said: “This weekend promised a lot but sadly we didn’t come away with all the points we deserved. We qualified well and were in the fight during the race but unfortunately it was ruined by another driver which put paid to what we should have scored.”

Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “Sam, Alex and the whole team performed fantastically today on a track that was always going to be tough on energy consumption. To have always finished in the points – together with a win and a podium – in the first three races, just shows what a great position we’re in heading into the next race in Santiago.”

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It was great to see Sam on the podium today and another strong result for the team. The achievements confirm the efficiency and performance of our car, and it is reward for all the hard work the team has done to prepare for this event.”

The all-electric FIA Formula E Championship is next in action on 3 February at the inaugural Santiago E-Prix.

2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship

Marrakesh E-Prix – Round 3:

  1. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing (25pts)
  2. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams (21pts, P)
  3. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing (15pts)
  4. Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing (13pts, FL)
  5. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah (10pts)
  6. Jose Maria Lopez, Dragon (8pts)
  7. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing (6pts)
  8. Tom Blomqvist, Andretti Formula E (4pts)
  9. Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing (2pts)
  10. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler (1pt)

Driver Standings:

  1. Felix Rosenqvist, 54pts
  2. Sam Bird, 50pts
  3. Jean Eric Vergne, 43pts
  4. Nelson Piquet Jr, 25pts
  5. Eduardo Mortara, 24pts
  6. Alex Lynn, 8pts

Team standings:

  1. Mahindra Racing, 75pts
  2. DS Virgin Racing, 58pts
  3. Techeetah, 43pts
  4. Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 40pts
  5. Venturi Formula E, 30pts

Source. DS AUTOMOBILES /Photo. Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E

 

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