Formerly racing with the Renault badge on their crew shirts, the Nissan e.dams made its debut in the ABB FIA Formula E championship with former series champion Sebastien Buemi shaking down both of the team’s cars at Circuit Ricardo Tormo (formerly known as Circuit de Valencia). Buemi has set the ninth fastest time in the morning session and climbed a spot of that day by setting a time of 1:18.100 around the 4km loop.
The new second generation Formula E cars feature a new battery, powertrain, inverter, tyres, gearbox, and aerodynamics, proved to be significantly faster than the previous generation car. The Nissan e.dams cars will be racing in the upcoming 2018-2019 Season 5, which will see new regulation changes. Besides the new radical SRT05e chassis, the Gen 2 cars will no longer require drivers to perform mid-race car swaps thanks to the new McLaren Applied Technologies which has double the energy storage than in the Gen1 cars.
With more energy, comes more power; the maximum output of the cars has been increased up to 250kW (335 hp), and with the new “hyperboost” or nicknamed as “Mario Kart mode” mode, which each drivers will receive an additional 25kW (33.5 hp) by driving through a designated area of the circuit away from the ideal racing line – a similar concept like the “Joker Lap” in the World Rallycross Championship (World RX). The Gen2 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.8-seconds and go on to a top speed of 280km/h. Greater speeds, more action on track and with just one car per driver – there’s everything to lose.
In the interest of safety and likewise in Formula 1, the new Gen2 cars are fitted with the “halo” cockpit protection device on the chassis to meet the new FIA rules which mandates the all single seater series should implement the safety system by 2020. Season 5 will see 22 Gen2 cars racing around the track in anger for the very first time, including newcomers BMW.
With the new power hike and energy storage capacity, Buemi’s fastest time was 3.722 seconds faster than last year’s fastest overall time at the Valencia pre-season test. As the first Japanese manufacturer to enter Formula E, Nissan developed the all-new powertrain for its Formula E contender which features a bespoke electric motor, inverter and gearbox.
“We had a lot of things to test, and it was our first time to see where we stand compared to the rest of the competition.” said Sebastien Buemi “I’m pleased with the performance because I know we could have ended up a lot better. I’m not massively happy with P8, but I know we had quite a bit of margin and that is the most important thing. I feel we can compete with the top guys. It is still difficult to know where we are compared to the opposition because you don’t know how much power they are using or whether they are doing a race simulation. But the fastest lap is generally done with maximum power, and in that regard, we don’t look too bad.”
Micheal Carcamo, Nissan global motorsport director said, “We’ve been working on our Formula E program for quite some time, and it was a thrill for everyone at Nissan to finally see our cars on track. We know the competition is very intense in this championship and we have realistic expectations for our first week on track with all the other manufacturers and teams. However, we were certainly pleased to see Sebastien P4 on the timesheets with 15 minutes to go before some of our rivals went for a time at the end of the day. We’re looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow and recording more valuable development miles.”