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Paffett: Bern Will Be Formula E’s “Most Challenging Track”

HWA Racelab’s Gary Paffett expects new Bern track to be a significant challenge for drivers…

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HWA Racelab driver Gary Paffett says that the new street track in Bern will test drivers to the maximum as it hosts the second Swiss E-Prix on Saturday.

Paffett completed his simulator work at HWA Racelab’s facility earlier this week and says that the narrow and undulating 1.65-mile circuit will standout for its inherent challenges.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting and I think after Berlin it will be a big shock,” Paffett told e-racing365.

“There are some really tight sections like the chicane in Hong Kong and then some major elevation changes where the car will not quite be in the air like in Rome but it will still go light.

“It is definitely the most challenging track I have seen on the calendar so far and it will be tough.

“It is narrow and most of the straight have slight curves in so you are positioning the car at different sides of the track and with a couple of bumps and elevation changes it will make it difficult.”

Paffett also pinpointed the potential talking point of temperature management due to the elevation changes which characterize the track.

“There are a lot of braking areas where we will be regening and recovering a lot of energy which puts a lot of temperature in to the battery system,” said Paffett.

“Discharging a lot and recovering a lot [of energy] will put a lot of strain on the drivetrain and the energy-recovery systems.”

Narrow Track to Make Overtaking a Challenge

Paffett expects overtaking in Bern to be at a premium due to the track’s narrow width and relative lack of traditional straights.

“It is quite narrow so it won’t take much to get to [the Attack Zone] and I think with the extra power you will be able to get alongside but over crests and bumps at this track will make it a real challenge anyway,” he said.

As revealed by e-racing365 last week, the attack zone in Bern will be confirmed as being on the outside of the track after turn eight. This, Paffett believes, will not cost the drivers any significant time.

“I think the placing is OK but as long as it is not too close to the corner because in Paris they moved it a lot closer to the corner which made it a lot more difficult,” he explained.

“I hope it is more like Monaco where you don’t lose too much time and I certainly preferred that because then it is an attack zone as opposed to a kind of penalty zone.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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