Simona de Silvestro says there is a “massive” difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Formula E cars after completing a day of testing in Ad Diriyah earlier this month.
She tested for Venturi as one of a number of female drivers in the Saudi Arabian test, and compared the Venturi VFE05 to the Gen 1 car she drove for Andretti at 12 races during the first two seasons.
“The difference is actually quite massive,” de Silvestro told e-racing365.
“I drove in Season Two which was three years ago and to see how much it has developed over these last four years, it’s quite incredible.
“The car feels really similar to a real race car now whereas before it was quite difficult trying to understand how to drive it.”
De Silvestro pinpointed the braking characteristics and the brake-by-wire system as the key changes on the new hardware.
“I think the biggest changes is the braking,” she explained. “How the system is this year it’s really good. It’s a really good step in the right direction.
“Just having more power helps, it just makes you more racy when you’re out there. Also, when you do a target lap and things like that it’s a bit smoother, it feels a bit more normal.”
De Silvestro, who has competed in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship since leaving Formula E, completed 72 laps during the course of the test and was the fastest of the guest female drivers present.
She completed some brake evaluation testing for Venturi during the afternoon session.
“We actually had a bit of a small issue with the powertrain so we had to change that and we lost a bit of time,” she said.
“Then, we had some braking things to try for the team so it was really a proper test programme.
“I was just trying to do as well with my driving as possible, it can always improve, and we got quite close to Felipe [Massa]’s time with 200 kW, so it’s OK.”