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Formula E

Gen2 Formula E car “2-3 seconds” quicker – Buemi

The new Gen2 Formula E car being introduced for the 2018/19 season is “2-3 seconds” a lap quicker than its predecessor, according to Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi.

The Gen2 car has a power increase to 250kW for qualifying which, as the estimations made after pre-season testing in Valencia say, will make lap times drop by 2-3 seconds.

“I think it’s something between two and three seconds quicker but this year we have only one chicane on the main straight, but a very slow one,” Buemi said in Valencia.

“Last year we had two chicanes but quite quick compared to this one. It’s difficult to compare. Last year we did 1:21, this we did 1:16.9.

“Still even on a similar track I would have expected 2.5-3 seconds quicker, so it’s still a decent step.

“You have 50kW more power, so it’s something like 20 per cent more. Clearly you feel it. After that the biggest difference is that we will have only one car, so the battery is a little bit heavier. The overall car is 20kg heavier than last year but we only have one battery and one car for the entire race.”

The pace increase comes despite the heavier McLaren Applied Technologies battery ramping up the overall car weight to 900kg, as well as the Gen2 having slightly less aerodynamic downforce than the old car after winglets were removed as the new bodywork has been getting damaged as drivers go over kerbs.

“From what we’ve seen is a bit less [downforce]. It was supposed to be similar but then the skirts we had on the diffuser basically got banned, because we would have consumed lots of those skirts and without it looks like there is less downforce.

“It’s really the part of the diffuser at the end because that’s where the skirts where. The car has less drag of course because you don’t have any rear wing, so the downforce you have is basically generated by the diffuser.

“But overall from what I’ve been told by the engineers it’s a bit less than last year.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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