|2015 Punta del Este Test|
The Punta del Este circuit
|Date||20 December 2015|
|Location||Playa Brava Beach, Punta del Este, Uruguay|
|Lap length||2.785 km (1.731 mi)|
2015 Donington Test
2016 Donington Test
The 2015 Punta del Este Test was an in-season test staged as part of the 2015/16 FIA Formula E Championship, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on the 20 December 2015. Held the day after the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix, and featuring all of the drivers that raced the previous afternoon, the Punta del Este Test would see Sébastien Buemi record a new circuit record.
Indeed, during the six hours of running Buemi would record a 1:13.218, set on his penultimate tour of the Punta del Este circuit in the afternoon. Elsewhere, Sam Bird would set the most laps, completing 83 full tours of Punta del Este, with over 2,600 km covered by the nineteen drivers.
The Punta del Este Test would be the last use of the Punta del Este circuit by FE until the 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix.
Like the previous year's test, the 2015 Punta del Este Test was held on the Sunday after the ePrix. Sébastien Buemi had dominated the day before, his only mistake coming in qualifying, although the track modifications prevented the Swiss driver from breaking the record set by Stéphane Sarrazin in the 2014 test. Most teams were expected to evaluate their cars after the first three races, completing a mix of quali-esque simulations and battery life tests.
NEXTEV TCR, meanwhile, were to allow Da Sheng Zhang a debut in a Formula E machine, with the Chinese driver sharing the day's running with Oliver Turvey. The development cars run by Spark would be absent from the test, preventing any development running for the chassis makers.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2015 Punta del Este Test across each day:
Following the same format as the previous year's test, the test was to be run over a single day in two sessions. Dry and mild conditions bathed the circuit once again, although lighter winds meant that less sand was dragged onto the circuit.
Sébastien Buemi once again displayed his natural pace, setting a time two seconds quicker than his lap in qualifying, the then fastest time of the weekend. His time of 1:13.218 also became the "unofficial" lap record for the Punta del Este circuit, almost a second and a half faster than Stéphane Sarrazin's time from 2014. Jean-Eric Vergne and Nicolas Prost were the only men to get within a second of Buemi's best time, an encouraging performance for both given their poor displays on Saturday.
Stéphane Sarrazin survived a scrape earlier in the day to set the fourth fastest time, although he was two tenths off of his pace from 2014. Completing the top five was António Félix da Costa, who was the best of those using the season one technology, ahead of two of the three NEXTEV TCR entries. Loïc Duval, Sam Bird and Oliver Rowland also made it into the top ten, with Bird completing the most laps of anyone during the day, lapping the circuit 83 times.
The bottom of the table contained both ABT Schaeffler drivers, with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt focusing on long running rather than one lap pace. Jacques Villeneuve missed the race but completed the Test, beating di Grassi, while Nathanaël Berthon struggled to match the pace of his rivals. Last of all, and over ten seconds behind, was Da Sheng Zhang after his first taste of Formula E, limited through his sharing with Oliver Turvey.
931 laps of the Punta del Este circuit were completed in the test, meaning drivers completed a combined distance of 2,606.8km (1,619.8mi), about 400km short of the 2014 total.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2015 Punta del Este Test:
|2015 Punta del Este Test Times|
|1st||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||51||1:15.616||1:13.218||—|
|2nd||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||DS Virgin Racing||60||1:16.457||1:13.753||+0.535s|
|3rd||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||73||1:16.438||1:13.888||+0.670s|
|4th||4||Stéphane Sarrazin||Venturi Formula E Team||35||1:17.830||1:14.886||+1.668s|
|5th||55||António Félix da Costa||Team Aguri||46||1:16.665||1:14.949||+1.731s|
|6th||1||Nelson Piquet Jr.||NEXTEV TCR||45||1:18.143||1:14.990||+1.772s|
|7th*||88||Oliver Turvey||NEXTEV TCR||52||1:15.058||+1.840s|
|8th||6||Loïc Duval||Dragon Racing||58||1:16.252||1:15.184||+1.966s|
|9th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||83||1:16.326||1:15.285||+2.067s|
|10th||23||Oliver Rowland||Mahindra Racing||44||1:17.831||1:15.402||+2.184s|
|11th||21||Bruno Senna||Mahindra Racing||48||1:17.835||1:15.570||+2.352s|
|12th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||78||1:16.453||1:15.575||+2.357s|
|13th||27||Robin Frijns||Amlin Andretti||54||1:17.399||1:15.581||+2.363s|
|14th||66||Daniel Abt||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||34||1:17.339||1:15.742||+2.524s|
|15th||28||Simona de Silvestro||Amlin Andretti||72||1:18.348||1:15.765||+2.547s|
|16th||12||Jacques Villeneuve||Venturi Formula E Team||48||1:19.526||1:16.366||+3.148s|
|17th||11||Lucas di Grassi||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||40||1:17.056||1:16.598||+3.380s|
|18th||77||Nathanaël Berthon||Team Aguri||10||1:18.633||—||+5.415s|
|19th*||88||Da Sheng Zhang*||NEXTEV TCR||52||1:23.311||+10.093s|
- * Turvey and Zhang shared the #88 cars for NEXTEV TCR over the day, with no official distinction as to who was driving at what time.
Videos and Images:
- 'WMSC reveals dates for season two Formula E calendar', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/07/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/july/wmsc-reveals-dates-for-season-two-formula-e-calendar.aspx, (Accessed 10/07/2015)
- 'Buemi flies in Punta test', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/december/buemi-flies-in-punta-test.aspx, (Accessed 21/12/2015)
- FIA Formula E: Collective Test Session 1', fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com/Results/01_2015-16/03_Punta%20del%20Este/72_FIA%20Formula%20E/201512200900_Collective%20Test%20Session%201/03_Classification_Collective%20Test%20Session%201.PDF, (Accessed 15/02/2019)
- 'FIA Formula E: Collective Test Session 2', fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/12/2015), http://fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com/Results/01_2015-16/03_Punta%20del%20Este/72_FIA%20Formula%20E/201512201400_Collective%20Test%20Session%202/03_Classification_Collective%20Test%20Session%202.PDF, (Accessed 15/02/2019)