The opening day of the 2023 Formula E pre-season test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia has been cancelled after a fire broke out in the pitlane following the morning session.
No testing will take place on Wednesday in response to the fire with an aim to resume testing on Thursday and Friday. The incident began during the lunch break when press conferences were being held at the track and all teams, plus media were told to leave the paddock.
Total-Motorsport.com understand the fire happened due to an explosion in the garage where the Williams Advanced Engineering batteries are stored near the Mahindra, ERT and Abt garages.
Mahindra mechanics were seen running towards their garage, where heavy black smoke was blowing back out into the paddock. One person has been assessed by medics and transported to hospital for precautionary checks.
“In a break between practice sessions, a fire was detected in the pit lane and garage area which has been contained,” Formula E said in a statement.
“The on-track Incident Response Team acted immediately to contain the incident while the main pit buildings and garages were quickly evacuated.
“One person has been assessed by medics and has been transported to hospital for precautionary checks.
“Formula E, the FIA and local fire authorities are investigating the cause and will provide a further updated in due course.”
A later statement read: “Following the incident earlier today, the FIA have advised Formula E and all teams that on-track activities have been cancelled for the rest of the day.
“This will allow for the area to return to safe working conditions. Further updates will be shared in due course.”
Jaguar TCS Racing driver Mitch Evans topped the timing sheets in the first session of running, ahead of TAG Heuer Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa, with Sebastien Buemi third for Envision Racing.