The Gen3 cars have already made their first laps at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, as part of the Formula E preseason. The series will inaugurate its new stage next January 14 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.
Maximilian Guenther of Maserati MSG Racing was fastest in the first test session, showing that the iconic brand will not only fill out the grid, but also seeks to be a protagonist.
The German set the fastest time in the morning run. Meanwhile, 1m26.096s was enough to take rookie Jake Hughes to the top spots; the NEOM McLaren driver impressed in the first official timed start for Gen3.
Mahindra Racing’s Oliver Rowland also shone, while Edoardo Mortara, who finished third in Season 8 put Maserati in the top four in testing.
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Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne set the fifth fastest time of the morning, albeit four tenths down on Guenther’s benchmark, while Antonio Felix da Costa rounded out the top six in his performance for Porsche.
The session was hit by rain, with tricky conditions inside the track causing Mitch Evans to skid in his Jaguar I-TYPE 6. Likewise, the wet asphalt played a trick on Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy.
As always in testing, being faster is not the priority, but rather the drivers and teams are focused on evaluating the performance of their cars with the technology and engineering applied.
The crews are working tirelessly to extract the maximum from a completely new platform for Season 9, with cars capable of a top speed of 200 mph (280 kph), a 60 kg lighter chassis, additional front powertrain and no rear brakes, plus a power output of 100kW up on Gen2 to 350kw with double the regenerative capacity, meaning that more than 40% of the energy used in the race is through regeneration under braking.
The tests in Valencia will culminate at the end of this week, which will allow the teams to draw conclusions and take note of the details to be fine-tuned for the start of the campaign.