Following a Gen3 battery igniting on Tuesday afternoon at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Formula E have confirmed that all activities scheduled for Wednesday have been cancelled, with an investigation into the blaze “ongoing”.

Formula E’s official pre-season test ahead of season 10 getting underway in January has been thrown into huge doubt, as the Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) garage caught fire during the lunch break, ahead of the second session of testing.

WAE are responsible for all of the Gen3 batteries and the fast-charging devices, which were trialled by each team during the morning session. According to reports, it was a Gen3 battery extracted from a DS Penske car – which had been driven in the morning by Robert Shwartzman – which ignited, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.

Shwartzman had come to a halt during the morning session, resulting in a red flag.

The fiery incident itself unfolded during a drivers’ press conference, which was abruptly halted. Everyone in the pit-lane was evacuated, so that the local fire authorities could cordon off the area and tackle the fire. Thankfully, only one person was transported to hospital for “precautionary checks” but was soon discharged “without treatment”.

Formula E soon announced that the afternoon session wouldn’t be taking place for obvious reasons, with the teams having therefore collected their things and departed the circuit. It remains a developing situation. However, the latest update is that Wednesday’s schedule has been cancelled.

The hope is that what was supposed to take place on Wednesday can instead take place on Thursday, but this will be confirmed at a later time.

Formula E stated: “In response to an incident earlier today at Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia when a fire caused damage to a garage in the pit-lane, on-track testing activity will not go ahead tomorrow, Wednesday.

“Damage from the incident was contained following the activation of emergency procedures. One person was taken to hospital as a precaution but was released without treatment.

“An investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing, but has already identified an issue which is being addressed. The investigation and further safety assessments will be completed and we aim to resume on-track activities from Thursday, subject to final confirmation tomorrow.”

The best case scenario now is that on-track action can get back underway on Thursday, which was originally scheduled as a media day. On the flip side, the worst case scenario is that if all the cars are affected, then questions will have to be asked as to whether any more running will take place. However, this is purely a prediction of what the worst outcome could be.

With the exception of Shwartzman coming to a halt, the opening session of testing was a successful affair. Mitch Evans topped the session and was seven-tenths quicker than Maximilian Günther’s pacesetting time from almost 12 months ago, highlighting how much progress has been made with the Gen3 package.

One concern potentially amongst five drivers, including Jake Dennis, is that they didn’t complete any running on Tuesday morning, as a rookie took their place. Wednesday will hopefully bring better news and a brighter outlook for the remainder of the test, with a significant setback being the last thing needed ahead of the sport’s centurion campaign.

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