07 Aug 19

'Still a lot of work to do' for Mercedes ahead of Formula E debut

Stoffel Vandoorne, Edoardo Mortara and Esteban Gutierrez claim there's still a lot of work to carry out after further tests in Mallorca, with just months to go until the team makes its debut in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

During the past week, ABB FIA Formula E Championship newcomers Mercedes-Benz EQ team undertook further tests in Mallorca ahead of its debut season as a full manufacturer works team in the all-electric series. HWA Racelab driver Stoffel Vandoorne, Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara and Formula E rookie Esteban Gutierrez drove the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 in Mallorca but claim there's "still a lot of work to do" ahead of the team's first race in Saudi Arabia on November 22, 2019.

“It was a positive test that provided the opportunity to put in quite a few kilometres,” said Vandoorne, following former tests with the car in Varano earlier this year.

“It was very good. We made solid progress, and everything went smoothly. "After the first functional tests, it’s been fascinating to gradually start working on all the different areas.But the time just seems to fly by, and there is still a lot of work to do," added the Belgian driver after completing his first full season in Formula E in July. 

Making his debut for the team during testing, former Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez returned to the cockpit of a Formula E car for the first time since he completed five Formula E races for Techeetah in 2017.

“It was fantastic to drive for the first time," said the Mexican. 

"Thanks a lot to the entire team for giving me this opportunity. It was great fun and requires a completely different approach to any other formula car. 

"It’s really unique in that sense. My initial focus was on getting used to the car. After that, we did some important mechanical tests and worked on the systems. 

"I also drove a complete race simulation. It was a great opportunity to test energy management over the full race distance.” 

One notable exception to the most recent testing line up was HWA Racelab driver and Mercedes DTM Champion Gary Paffett, who previously tested the all-electric Silver Arrow earlier in the year. Although aiming for a seat with Mercedes in it's debut Formula E campaign, the German team is yet to disclose it's full driver line up, with just months to go until the first race of the season takes place in Saudi Arabia on November 22, 2019. 

“The time to the start of the season is getting tighter,” said Ian James, Managing Director of the new outfit. “But I am very satisfied with our progress so far and in the recent tests.

"The team is increasingly coming together as a unit, the processes are being perfected, and the drivers are giving good feedback, which is a great help to us in the further development of the car. 

"There are still a lot of challenges ahead of us before our new Silver Arrow contests its first race weekend at Ad Diriyah, but that’s exactly what we’re looking forward to.”