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F1 veteran Jarno Trulli tests new Formula E machine (VIDEO)

Mar 25, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

Testing continues for the Spark-Renault challenger that will be the centerpiece of the all-electric Formula E championship, which begins later this fall in Beijing.

Recently, an experienced hand stepped into the cockpit of the innovative new car: Jarno Trulli, a veteran of 256 Formula One Grand Prix and a past champion of F1’s cornerstone, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Trulli, who recently joined Formula E’s ‘Drivers Club’ pool, put the car through its paces at the La Ferte Gaucher circuit in France. The car featured the final version of the 200kw race-ready battery.

While the Italian regarded the sound of the Formula E car as something much different than what he’s used to, he also said that the Spark-Renault drives like a proper race car should.

“The sound is different but you still hear the sound of the electrical engine and gearbox, so in terms of feeling, it’s perfect for a racing driver,” he said. “Maybe from the outside it seems different, but inside, you don’t notice it. So far, I have enjoyed it because it’s a nice car to drive.

“…I expected something different and it certainly is, but having a feeling of a racing car was the most important thing. I have been racing for 30 years – 15 in Formula One – so I have seen, more or less, everything. So, I anticipated finding something unlike anything else. But it gave me the same feeling of the old days.”

The series reports that the first batch of cars will be delivered to teams at its headquarters in Donington Park, England in mid-May.

  1. lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    F1 is already panicking because of the muffled sound of their new cars. Now this series is going to feature cars that will allow fans to carry on complete conversations at normal volume as the cars pass directly in front of them. Someone in Formula E marketing must be having kittens right about now.

  2. mcseforsale - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Why are they not running slicks? Figure with all that available torque, they could spring for some lightweight slicks.

  3. techmeister1 - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Most fans don’t want abusively loud racing noise, they want to see racing. The F1 turbos will be a non-issue before long. The only one’s who will be disappointed are the ear plug vendors.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Yes, of course, nobody cares what races sound like. That’s why F1 officials are already expressing alarm. That’s why an F1 team owner said directly into the TV camera “that’s not Formula 1” when referring to the sound of the race. That’s why the organizers of the Australian Grand Prix are threatening to hold F1 in breach of contract because of how much was taken away from the fan experience. You’re right, sound has no role in the race day experience. That’s why the test driver in the Formula E car never mentioned it. Oh, wait, it’s the first thing he pointed out.

      • keeper1st - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:57 AM

        …and what he pointed out was that he COULD hear the motor, therefore it felt the same as any other car he has driven. He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to hear the motor and that might make driving the car more difficult.

        The quieter sound of both the new F1 power units and the FE motors does allow for tire squeal to be heard more easily, which actually presents a more interesting listening experience for the spectator.

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