Mercedes have been ramping up their preparations ahead of their debut in Formula E next season with the culmination of a two-day test at the Varano Circuit in Italy.
The testing of the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 was conducted by current HWA Racelab drivers Garry Paffett and Stoffel Vandoorne as the pair managed 218 laps after their two, half-day sessions.
Paffett has been linked with Mercedes-Benz for the majority of his career as a professional driver but was enthused by the progress the team has been making so far saying: “It was great to get back behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz-powered car.
“It’s obviously different from any Mercedes I have driven before, but it has been a fantastic test.
“I think that the professionalism and the skill of the engineering within the team is exceptional.
“There is no doubt there is a lot of work to do, but the test has been really positive.
“We’ve got some really good mileage under our belts, and the car has been very reliable.
“It’s been a good couple of days and I can’t wait to get back in the cockpit.”
Stoffel Vandoorne was also complimentary about the first impressions the new car has made on him since he last drove it at the same circuit in a shakedown adding: “It’s been good to track the evolution of our powertrain since the shakedown I drove in some time ago.
“This is all part of our long journey.
“There is still a lot of work ahead of us, and everyone is aware of that.
“But I would say that the first impressions are very good, the basics are right and everything seems to be working well.
“That’s what matters at this point, it has been a positive start.”
The managing director of Mercedes-Benz Formula E Ltd, Ian James, echoed the sentiments of his drivers but was also aware of the need to keep working on the car prior to the season opener in Saudi Arabia on 22nd November.
He added: “All in all, it has been two very positive days of testing, during which we were able to put the new power unit in the car through its paces.
“But we also saw that there is still a lot to do so that we arrive well prepared for the first race in November.”
Jaguar testing continues
Jaguar Racing have joined the list of manufacturers to have started development testing for the 2019-20 season.
Series newcomers Porsche and Mercedes have already begun preparations for their debuts later this year, with former Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley involved in the former’s on-track development.
Jaguar are the first of the current FE teams to confirm it’s started on-track testing for the upcoming season.
“We are pleased with the progress made ahead of season six with the commencement of our development testing programme,” team director James Barclay said.
“We recently started track tests in the UK for next season’s car and powertrain and things are progressing well.
“Next season, with new teams joining, ABB FIA Formula E is going to be the most competitive season yet.”
Jaguar ran the tests in the UK and completed “significant mileage”.
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Additional reporting by Bethonie Waring