Pre-season Testing: Race sim triumph caps off positive running in Valencia

Robin Frijns settled seamlessly back into life as an Envision Racing driver as the reigning ABB FIA Formula E teams’ world champions began preparations for Season 10 in positive fashion in Valencia this week. 

The Dutch driver, making his return to the Silverstone-based team after a year away, capped off an impressive week’s running at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo – one that saw him consistently sit at the top of the timesheets – with a victory in Friday’s hour-long ‘race sim’.

In a full simulation of race conditions, featuring pitstops, safety car introductions and occasional full-course yellows, Frijns overtook Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa late on to take the chequered flag first.

Frijns also finished fourth on the timesheets in both Thursday and Friday’s timed session, as the Formula E paddock rebounded after an incident earlier in the week had briefly delayed running.

“It’s been a pretty good week for us,” Frijns said. “It’s been a hectic one as well, at the beginning, but we’ve now finished a good two days of testing.

“We did the race sim at the beginning of Friday and we won that – it does not mean anything really but it’s still a good feeling and good to travel to Mexico [for the opening race of the season] with this ‘victory’. It gives us a good feeling.

“At the end the pace [of the car] was not bad either, we were always in the top five overall. We are working well within the team so we have high hopes for next season.”

Sebastien Buemi also enjoyed a positive week in southern Spain, with the experienced Swiss driver seeing a promising late lap on Friday evening, one that looked set to send him towards the very top of the time sheets, thwarted by traffic.

Nevertheless it was a productive week for the former world champion: Buemi set the fourth fastest lap time across all sessions while he was the busiest driver over the course of the week, completing 276 laps in total (the equivalent of 931.776 km, per

In total the Green Machine completed 474 laps on the track, with the majority of the running coming on Friday.

In the end all 21 runners on that final day of testing – Mahindra having been forced to run only one car due to issues beyond their control earlier in the week – were split by just 0.7 seconds, while a little over half a second separated the top 19 runners.

Times across the grid were also broadly half-a-second faster than at the same point last season, following the introduction of the Gen3 car.

The paddock will next convene for the start of the 2024 championship, which is scheduled to get underway in Mexico on January 13.

Image via Formula E