Following criticism over its much-maligned four-group qualifying session format, the place monitor evolution usually created mixed-up grids, it got here to the detriment of the drivers within the higher reaches of the championship standings having to deal with poor monitor situations within the first group.
The brand new format options two teams of 11 drivers, every that includes one from every crew, the place the most effective 4 in every group goes by means of a knockout format – the place two drivers duel over a single lap to progress to the subsequent spherical – to finally decide the entrance row of the grid.
Formulation E’s trial of the knockout classes prolonged into pitting the complete discipline into the duels stage, with every competitor drawn towards their equal place, somewhat than simulate the complete development by means of to the ultimate.
This meant that the bottom-placed drivers within the two teams – rookie duo Dan Ticktum and Antonio Giovinazzi – battled towards one another first. Ticktum gained by default, as Giovinazzi missed his name to take to the pitlane.
Nyck de Vries gained out within the head-to-heads towards team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, with Alexander Sims going faster than Oliver Turvey and Maximilian Guenther shading Sergio Sette Camara by 0.06s.
Jean-Eric Vergne then beat Robin Frijns, who headed the standings in the usual testing occasions, earlier than Mitch Evans eclipsed Jaguar team-mate Sam Bird and set a 1m26.426s to go quickest within the afternoon.
Within the group stage, which was altogether extra consultant of the true qualifying format, di Grassi headed the primary of the 2 group classes, logging a 1m27.933s on his second run to overtake Fowl by 0.046s.
Vandoorne kicked off proceedings within the qualifying simulation, however might solely produce a leisurely 1m31.991s which was rapidly overcome by the opposite vehicles within the first group, as Fowl vaulted to the highest with a 1m27.979s lap within the opening runs, beating di Grassi by a tenth as Vergne adopted him within the order.
Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21
Picture by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
Vergne went prime, however had his second lap deleted – giving di Grassi a transparent run at prime spot, though the Venturi driver’s session-topping lap was 0.002s sooner than the two-time champion’s time.
Nevertheless, Vergne’s first time was ok to maintain him in third, with Nick Cassidy venturing into fourth place along with his opening chew on the cherry.
Mortara accomplished the Venturi clear sweep of the group classes on his second run, posting a 1m27.774s to overtake Evans’ benchmark after the opening runs.
Evans went to the highest of Group B as Jaguar elected to place their vehicles out final for the primary flurry of runs, however Frijns acquired near his lap on the second try earlier than Mortara cruised throughout the road to select up prime spot.
Trying to mount a response, Evans went a tenth slower than his finest on the second set of runs, however nonetheless claimed second total from Frijns and new Mahindra driver Rowland.
Nissan opted for 2 consecutive timed laps throughout their group stage simulations, following a gradual pair of opening runs.
The second day of Valencia testing continues on Tuesday, with the third day of operating pencilled in for Thursday.