The German former Formula 1 star Nick Heidfeld forms together with endurance racing specialist Stéphane Sarrazin an experienced duo at Venturi’s Formula E team. The first official pre-season test days have been completed with great satisfaction. The fully-electric race cars have been extensively tested at Donington Park circuit.
From much noise to a typical futuristic sound. There are certain differences between Formula 1 and Formula E. “Yes, the very first feeling while driving on the track with this electric race car was very odd, because the noise was different. But you get used to that after a few laps”, Heidfeld tells ElectricAutosport.com. “And of course, we don’t have as much power as a F1 car, but I think this is a good starting point for the series.”
The first four test days were meant to discover the car. The brand new technology was different for most drivers and engineers. “There is a lot to do and to learn”, the 37-year-old driver knows. “There are two main points to focus on. The first one is for everyone to learn about the batteries: how quickly it charges and how many laps we can do with a full battery. That sort of things.”
Finding a setup to start with is also important. “In the beginning we had a lot of understeer and oversteer. We have tried to bring that in ‘our window’ and afterwards focussed on all the parameters we have in the car, like the downforce level, camber, tyre pressures etc. There are a lot of things we can change and that requires time. It is still early days.”
Heidfeld covered a record of 78 laps on the final test day, completing over 300 kilometres. The fifth and probably final official pre-season test day is scheduled at August 19 and is yet again accessible for public.