The countdown to the 10th season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship begins with official testing in Valencia.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit with Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa, who will return in 2024 to compete as teammates in the Porsche 99X Electric.
For the 11 teams and 22 drivers who will participate in the tournament, the Valencia tests are an important benchmark to assess their condition before the new season begins.
Starting the engines
Six training sessions are scheduled at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team travels to Spain with the Porsche 99X Electric, which carries the same livery as last season and will be driven by its regular drivers, Pascal Wehrlein (No. 94) and António Félix da Costa (No. 13).
While the pair contest their second year together in Formula E, reigning World Champion Jake Dennis will have a new teammate in Porsche’s successful Andretti Formula E customer team: Norman Nato.
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For him, 2024 will be his first season at the wheel of the Porsche 99X Electric at the team owned by American racing legend Michael Andretti.
The FIA and Formula E have also included youngsters in the Valencia program. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team is opening the door for Czech Gabriela Jílková to gain her first experience in the innovative electric single-seater championship.
Florian Modlinger, Competition Director of the Official Formula E Team, assured that they have used the time to analyze last season in depth.
“We studied our strengths and weaknesses to gauge the potential that remains to be exploited in our team. Looking ahead to 2024, our priority was to further develop the software to make the four 99X Electric cars even more competitive,” he added.
Porsche factory driver Pascal Wehrlein noted that the Valencia test marks the start of the new season. “We’ve been making preparations for weeks now and have already done some runs in the simulator.”
“I’m sure we’ve made progress. We learned a lot of things in 2023 that we can now build on. It’s important to be well prepared in Valencia so that we can get our test program up and running smoothly and get more information,” he said.
For his part, António Félix da Costa expressed his motivation. “The test is always interesting because all the teams and drivers are there. It gives us the opportunity to show where we stand against the competition, to see where we are strong and where we need to improve.”
“The preparation for the tenth season is going much better for me than last season. Last year I was new to the team and I was getting used to the car,” he concluded.
The first race of the new season will be the Mexico City E-Prix on January 13, 2024.