The much anticipated Formula E Gen2 car test has finally arrived. Testing took place at the Monteblanco circuit in southern Spain and all the teams looked ready. Audi ABT Schaeffler, DS Virgin, Panasonic Jaguar, Venturi, Mahindra Racing, Dragon and Nissan all experimented with their new Gen2 cars at the Spanish circuit this week. This was the first time that the teams and drivers had a chance to get into the new cars. The test was split across three days, with Tuesday as a rest day. The test was conducted under private conditions.
Gen2 Car Test at Monteblanco Circuit
DS Virgin Racing Starts Testing Its New E-Tense FE 19: Check out DS Virgin Racing's new E-Tense FE 19 testing the next-generation Formula E platform in France. | https://t.co/crQITINvIg pic.twitter.com/vfxZ4ufK0z
— Lenses (@Cell5Capture) March 25, 2018
BMW Absent from Testing
The German manufacturer was also set to test their new car at the Monteblanco circuit, but an unexpected malfunction occurred.
“During our final preparations before loading the car, an unexpected malfunction occurred,” read a BMW statement.
“We decided to continue working on the car in Munich.”
NIO Formula E team also didn’t participate in testing due to a conflict in scheduling.
“When we laid out our engineering timing plan for the designing and manufacturing and testing of the season five Gen2 powertrain and chassis – the tests weren’t actually even scheduled,” explained NIO team boss Gerry Hughes at the recent Punta del Este FE round.
“So, if I look internally, we’re starting our testing program at the same time as we’ve started it for season three, for season four – so there’s been no change for us internally.”
New Race Modes
The new Formula E Gen2 car has increased the battery storage compared to the previous car. This means the drivers will no longer need to swap cars during a pitstop during the E-Prix. Along with increased battery storage, the Gen2 cars will use 200kw of power as the primary race mode. This is used as the power mode in qualifying this season. The power is reduced to 180kw for the race. Season five qualifying mode has increased from 200kw to 250kw. The equivalent of 335bhp, up from 270bhp.
Along with the increase in primary power modes, the FIA was keen on still having a strategy option to keep the racing competitive. So, they decided instead of a pit stop, they will have a second mandatory-use setting at a higher level, according to Formula E series boss Alejandro Agag.
“The FIA is still fine-tuning the system and will release the information about how it will work, but I think 200kw will be the race mode and the other mode will be higher than that,” Agag said.
I like the futuristic design of the next season Audi e-tron formula e car! Great. ??
And it's much stronger and faster than before … ? pic.twitter.com/C8JzvPk2ML
— Jörg A. (@joergapunkt) March 29, 2018
“We’ll have to do some testing with the cars to work out what that power mode will be – whether it’s 220, 230, 240, 250, whatever.
“But it will be significantly higher. There will be a good difference.”
Fanboost will also be altered for season five. No set power increase has been set in stone just yet, but it will certainly be some further step up in power.
Stretching Current Track Limits
After the test, Felix Rosenqvist of Mahindra Racing stated the increase in power was significant enough that it’s going to start stretching some of the current limits of the series. “Its going to be quite difficult to manage this car on the tight circuits that we drive. It’s going to be almost overpowered for tracks like New York, which is very tight. That’s going to be very rough for the driver,” Rosenqvist said.
— Formula E News (@FENewsITALY) March 26, 2018
The second group test takes place at the Calafat circuit in Catalonia next month. Teams and drivers will learn much from that session and the drivers will understand the new generation car better.
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