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Formula E Valencia Pre-Season Testing

Formula E testing to resume in Valencia after battery fire investigation

Formula E pre-season testing will continue this afternoon following an investigation into a battery fire, the FIA has confirmed.

Jake Hughes, McLaren, e-4ORCE 04

Track action is to resume at 2:00pm local time on Thursday and will run until 6:30pm following a lengthy investigation by the FIA, Formula E and battery supplier WAE.

A statement from the FIA read: “Following the incident that happened on Tuesday and subsequent investigations, the FIA has authorised Formula E pre-season testing to resume today from 2pm CET.

“The investigations and findings provided by the technical suppliers and reviewed by the FIA confirm that it is acceptable for on-track activity to go ahead.

“Pre-season testing will now continue through Friday. An updated on-track session schedule will be distributed soon.”

Three planned days of testing were impacted at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain after a battery explosion and subsequent fire took place in the pitbox of battery supplier WAE on Tuesday.

This occurred after the DS Penske of Robert Shwartzman came to a halt on circuit during that morning’s three-hour session before the car was transported back to the WAE garage.

Shortly before 1pm, a battery from the car exploded causing a fire in the garage with emergency crews immediately on the scene and the paddock evacuated as the afternoon session was subsequently cancelled.

At the time, Formula E reported that "one person has been assessed by medics and has been transported to hospital for precautionary checks" but that the individual was “released without treatment” later that evening.

Smoke from the pit lane causes an evacuation

Smoke from the pit lane causes an evacuation

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

The decision was taken to postpone all running on Wednesday while the cause of the incident was investigated, as well as allowing for the surrounding area to be cleared.

A teams’ principal meeting was held on Wednesday evening at the circuit to discuss the situation, with a decision announced shortly after 8pm that there would be no running on Thursday morning to allow for the investigation to continue.

A subsequent update eventually came more than two hours later than originally stated on Thursday and confirmed that running would commence in just under an hour.

As well as damage to the WAE garage, the Mahindra team has also been forced to move garages having been in the pitbox next door, while the team is also believed to have suffered damage to its computer systems in the blaze.

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