Mitch Evans topped the first morning session of the official Formula E pre-season test, being held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Tuesday morning in many ways marked the countdown to the season 10 opener in Mexico City, which takes place on 13 January 2024. It was Evans who made the best start to the test by ending the opening session as the fastest driver, a spot he claimed courtesy of setting a 1m 24.474s.

Just over a tenth of a second behind the Jaguar TCS Racing driver was António Félix da Costa, who enjoyed a solid start in Valencia. Envision Racing’s Sébastian Buemi completed the top-three.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team looked particularly strong on Tuesday morning, as Pascal Wehrlein led the session momentarily. He ended up in P5, behind the impressive Edoardo Mortara. Seeing Mahindra Racing in the top-four was certainly a surprise, given that they had the weakest package last season.

For Valencia, Mahindra are running a special test livery, which is made up of white and red. Both Porsche drivers being in the top-five is a good indicator that perhaps their one-lap pace has improved, with that having been their real achilles heel in season nine. They’ll be hoping to remain towards the top throughout the rest of the week.

Above: De Vries and Mahindra’s special testing livery – Credit: FIA Formula E

Sixth spot was occupied by Maximilian Günther, who was the pacesetter in Valencia almost 12 months ago. He was narrowly ahead of rookie driver Taylor Barnard, who completed the session for NEOM McLaren in place of Sam Bird. Bird will be in the car this afternoon.

Barnard is McLaren’s chosen rookie driver to complete at least three hours of testing, an opportunity he’s clearly making the most of having topped his first ever Formula E session at one point.

Nico Müller, Sérgio Sette Câmara and Nick Cassidy completed the top-10. Season 10 rookie Jehan Daruvala completed 45 laps in his maiden test session for Maserati MSG Racing, with his best time having put him P13 on the timesheets.

Excluding Daruvala, five rookies were used during the session, including Nissan’s Victor Martins and Luca Ghiotto, Andretti’s Zane Maloney, who took Jake Dennis’ car, Barnard and Robert Shwartzman.

With the exception of Barnard, all the rookies featured towards the bottom of the timesheets, whilst Shwartzman at DS Penske was responsible for the session’s only red flag. The returning Nyck de Vries, was last and two seconds off the pace.

Interestingly, Evans’ lap time was quicker than Günther’s fastest time from testing ahead of season nine, which was a 1m 25.127s. To already be nearly a second quicker than Günther’s time from last year shows just how much has been learnt about the Gen3 machinery, with a 1m 23s perhaps set to be seen by the end of the week.

One key feature of the first session of testing was the inclusion of fast-charging pit-stops, with each team having trialled the system whilst conducting a mock pit-stop as if it were a race.

Credit: FIA Formula E

So it’s the Jaguars and the Porsches looking the strongest once again. Will this continue in this afternoon’s session?

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