Pascal Wehrlein has completed his first laps with Porsche ahead of his return to Formula E with the German marque in Season 7.
The 25-year-old joined the Formula E grid in Season 5 with Mahindra Racing, however, left the Banbury-based squad with immediate effect ahead of series’ recent six-race Berlin showdown.
This split was a pre-curser to the ex-F1 driver joining Porsche as a team-mate to Andre Lotterer, replacing Neel Jani in doing so.
In preparation for the 2020/21 campaign which will commence on January 16 at the Parque O’Higgins Circuit in Santiago, Wehrlein turned his first laps in the team’s Season 5 99X Electric car as part of a two-day test.
Collectively – with Lotterer also taking part – the team completed 688 kilometres of running, testing next season’s powertrain as it builds upon a competitive rookie campaign which saw the outfit record two podium finishes in Diriyah and Berlin and one pole position in Mexico City.
“The team has given me a warm welcome,” said Wehrlein. “I felt right at home from the word go.
“It was nice to be back in a Formula E car after almost six months away. It is a fantastic feeling to experience the acceleration and forces.
“There was obviously a lot for me to learn in a new team and with the new car. Generally speaking, I have a very good feeling in the Porsche 99X Electric. I must now continue to get used to everything.”
Following the test, Lotterer – who has raced in Formula E since Season 4 – was buoyant about Wehrlein’s arrival, hopeful that a more experienced driver in the championship will aid Porsche’s development:
“The break after the races in Berlin was a short one,” he said. “It was an extremely productive test and, at the same time, it was interesting to see what experience Pascal has brought with him from his time in Formula E.
“The cooperation with him has been good and the development for Season 7 gives me great optimism.”
Amiel Lindesay, Porsche’s Head of Operations in Formula E, added: “It was a very successful first test – so soon after the end of our first Formula E season.
“We tested the powertrain for the coming year and made some valuable findings. Everything we have to sort for Season 7 is moving in the right direction.
“This is confirmed by both the data we have gathered and the feedback from the drivers. Details in the areas of hardware and software will make all the difference.
“We are on track, but still have a lot of work ahead of us. It was obviously also a nice moment to see Pascal Wehrlein sitting behind the wheel of the Porsche 99X Electric for the first time.
“He is coming in from a different team and brings his experience with him. His feedback was very positive and we are looking forward to working with him.”