The second day of Formula E testing has been canceled after a fire brought the first day of running at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo to an early halt.
After Robert Shwartzman’s DS Penske stopped on track in the morning session, the car’s battery was removed by supplier Williams Advanced Engineering. It subsequently caught fire, resulting in a paddock evacuation and one WAE staff member being taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
Now the series has released a statement confirming Wednesday’s running will not go ahead.
“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,” said the statement.
The statement added that an investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing, but an issue had been identified already, and 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 statement concluded.
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans was the pacesetter before proceedings were brought to a halt on Tuesday afternoon. Pre-season testing was set to run from Tuesday to Thursday, with a pair of three hour sessions each day.
The fire is the first incident of its kind in Formula E’s 10-season history, but follows one at July’s World Rallycross event at Lydden Hill in the UK which destroyed Special ONE Racing’s cars and equipment, ruling it out for the remainder of the season. An investigation into the cause of that fire is still ongoing, with World RX teams switching to the single-make Zeroid X1 car used in the RX2e support category in order to see out the final two rounds of their season. World RX uses a different battery supplier to Formula E – Kreisel – while RX2e also differs, being supplied by QEV Technologies.