Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E completes successful tests at Varano

by Nathan Hine
Stoffel Vandoorne testing for Mercedes EQ Formula E Team

Preparations for Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team’s entry in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship continues ahead of their debut Formula E campaign later this year.

Following a successful shakedown of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 at Varano in late March, the team returned to the Italian racetrack in Italy on 24-25 June and enjoyed two successful days of testing, and clocked up a total of 218 laps in the process.

The two days of testing have proved invaluable for the team who will now digest the wealth of data that they have accumulated to help develop their brand new power unit.

It will prove critical before they make their debut in the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship which begins in earnest on 22 November for the 2019 Ad Diriyah ePrix in Saudi Arabia.

Mercedes have used HWA RaceLab’s two race drivers for the current Formula E season, Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett, of which the Belgian racer has already secured a drive with the Silver Arrows for next season’s campaign.

“We’ve had two positive days of testing at Varano,” confirmed Stoffel Vandoorne.

“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.”

For Gary Paffett, it was his first time behind the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow 01 Formula E car and the former double Mercedes DTM champion was very complementary after the test.

“It was great to get back behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz-powered car,” said Gary Paffett.

“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.”

The team will now meticulously analyse all the data that they have accumulated from this successful outing in Italy and make any changes to the power unit that they deem necessary ahead of the start of the season in November.

The 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship is set to be the series longest calendar, starting in Saudi Arabia at the 2019 Ad Diriyah ePrix in November and crossing five continents before reaching the double-header season finale for the 2020 London ePrix on 25-26 July at the London Docklands and ExCeL arena.

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