Mercedes has positive end to Formula E pre-season testing

by Nathan Hine
Nyck De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team ended pre-season testing for the 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship at Circuit Ricardo Tormo ‘on a positive note’ ahead of their debut race weekend at the 2019 Ad Diriyah ePrix.

The German manufacturer took part in official testing for the series for the first time last week on October 15, 16 and 18 at the Valencia racetrack.

During the course of the test, the team gained invaluable knowledge and experience with the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow 01 as they managed to rack up the miles.

After an exhaustive test, Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team Principal Ian James said, “What we’re trying to do at the moment is improve consistency. But of course, we want to be competitive when we get started.

Valencia is a permanent race track that is very different to the street circuits we would normally compete on during the season. In addition, each team follows a different programme during testing, so it’s not easy to draw comparisons.

Therefore, we don’t yet have the final picture in terms of how competitive we are compared to other outfits. Nevertheless, I think we’ve created a sound basis, on which to build so that we can continue to develop during the season.”

Both of their full-time race drivers for the season ahead, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries were in the cockpit of the two cars for all three days. In total, they covered 259 laps and over 800 kms of the 3.094 km Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

That was despite a series of mechanical setbacks that afflicted Mercedes, and while they may be fixed for now, are a worry as the German outfit plunges head-first into their first season of the all-electric racing series next month.

“We’ve ticked off quite a few points on our to-do list, but there’s still plenty to do before the season opener in Saudi Arabia,” Vandoorne said.

At the same time, I am happy that we are finally racing again. We have been testing for a long time now and the feeling is good. Everything is in place for us to mount a serious challenge, but we have to get it all together.

Formula 2 Champion De Vries suffered the majority of poor fortune with mechanical maladies on the first two days which cost him crucial track time.

But at the end of the test, the Dutchman said, “We’ve had some challenging days with unexpected problems that we managed to fix quickly.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the chicane and lost a lot of time on the track. That, along with a few other difficulties, virtually cost me a whole day.

That’s why it was very important to have a flawless day today, during which I was able to put in a lot of laps and gain further experience.

The morning was very positive in this regard, and the afternoon also was very interesting with regard to the race simulation. It was a pity that there were so many interruptions on the way, but that’s all part of racing.”

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