Nyck de Vries was pleased to “get back into a rhythm” during Formula E pre-season testing, following his return to the championship for season 10.
It was a massively compromised week for the Dutchman and everyone at Mahindra Racing, as the side were impacted by the battery fire which took place in the WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering) garage during the lunch break on Tuesday.
Mahindra sustained “extensive damage” to their trackside operations and had no choice but to move to a new garage. De Vries’ car was also unable to continue in the test following the blaze. This came as a massive disappointment to the side.
However, the Banbury-based squad have been granted additional private testing time to make up for what they lost by only having one car available.
Prior to the fire which saw no on-track action take place on Tuesday afternoon or on Wednesday, De Vries ended the opening session in last place and two seconds off the leading pace. This was no concern to the Dutchman or the team though, considering that it was his first official test session since departing AlphaTauri in Formula 1.
Due to the damage to his car, De Vries wasn’t able to take part in Thursday afternoon’s session, which was the first to take place since the fire. He did take part in the full 10 hours on Friday, as he drove Edoardo Mortara’s car.
De Vries completed an impressive 112 laps of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on the final day, whilst his best lap was good enough for P17. Whilst the position might not sound flattering, he was just under half a second behind Nick Cassidy’s leading time.
Given everything that Mahindra went through in Valencia, the amount of running De Vries completed is hugely impressive. He praised the team for doing a “great job” to at least get Mortara’s car repaired following the fire, so that data gathering was possible.
He revealed that despite being reduced to just one car, the Indian manufacturer successfully completed a “very extensive programme”, giving the outfit plenty to look through ahead of the Mexico City season-opener.
“It was great to get a full day of testing under my belt, having done a half-day on Tuesday,” De Vries said.
“Earlier this week, everything was a little bit compromised, so the team did a great job to get out there and run at least one car properly.
“It was good to get back into a rhythm, to get used to Gen3, we went through a very extensive programme, and I felt like we were learning good things and getting more comfortable with the car so it was a positive day.”