Formula E newcomer Daniel Juncadella says he managed the targets in his initial day of running in Valencia.
The Mercedes-contracted driver replaced Petit Le Mans-bound Nick Heidfeld in the Mahindra lineup for Thursday’s third and final day of official pre-season testing.
The Spaniard’s previous Formula E experience had been limited to simulator sessions, with the Valencia test providing him a taste of the new Mahindra M4ELECTRO.
“I did a race simulation at the end of the morning session and that was very positive. I managed the targets pretty well,” Juncadella told e-racing365.
“The simulator helped a lot to get acquainted with the systems, regeneration paddles and everything.
“It’s the best preparation you can get if you can’t drive the car anywhere and that’s the basic thing you need for this kind of test.”
The Barcelona-born racer found the two chicanes installed on the main straight the biggest difficulty.
“We couldn’t replicate them [the chicanes] in the simulator,” Juncadella said. “We didn’t know how they’re going to be like, so that was probably the hardest part.”
Juncadella believed that the nature of the circuit caused the tires to overheat and that was another issue he had to deal with.
“It was really hard to get more than one lap when you were doing a performance run,” he said.
“I needed more laps [in a row] to improve my lap time. I was doing one flying lap then a cooling down lap and another flying lap but the tire was already giving up.
“This track is forcing the tires so much and that’s not going to happen anywhere in the season.”
Question Mark over Future
Juncadella is currently in contention for the reserve driver role at Mahindra, with the team admitting that such a solution is being considered.
“Anything that can make me attached to a team is great,” he said. “I still need to find out what’s going to happen but I take the test purely for myself as a way of [making] first contact with Formula E.”
At present, the Spaniard doesn’t have a confirmed program for next season.
Juncadella spent this year as a DTM reserve driver as well as having race duties in the Blancpain GT Series with AKKA ASP, where he’s coming off a win in last weekend’s season finale in Barecelona.
“My contract with Mercedes ends this year,” he said. “I need to renew it and that’s not going to be until November, so at the moment I’m quite free.”
With Mercedes fully committing to entering the championship in Season Six, the 26-year-old hopes to extend his long-standing ties with the German brand into its new venture of electric racing.
Juncadella’s links with the Stuttgart-based manufacturer date back to his Formula 3 days, with the 2012 F3 Euro Series title being the highlight, prior to his four-year stint in the DTM.