Stoffel Vandoorne, Gary Paffett complete two-day Mercedes Formula E test

Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Pafett have completed two days of testing the at the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti near Varano for Mercedes EQ ahead of the German marque's arrival in Formula E next season.

The pair, who currently drive for HWA Racelab in the all-electric single-seater series, shared driving duties over the course of the two days, with each driver completing two half days of testing.

Over the course of the outing, the team completed 218 laps of running, with this marking the first time that Mercedes has tested its new Silver Arrow 01 package after its initial shakedown of the car in March. 

"We’ve had two positive days of testing at Varano,” said Vandoorne who has been strongly tipped to be one of Mercedes EQ's drivers for Season 6.

"It’s been good to track the evolution of our powertrain since the shakedown I drove in some time ago. This is all part of our long journey.

"There is still a lot of work ahead of us, and everyone is aware of that. But I would say that the first impressions are very good. The basics are right and everything seems to be working well. That’s what matters at this point. It has been a positive start."

For Paffett, driving the Silver Arrow 01 at Varano marked the driver's first time behind the wheel of a Mercedes racing car since winning the DTM series last year, with the Briton hailing the test as "fantastic":

"It was great to get back behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz-powered car,” he said. "It’s obviously different from any Mercedes I have driven before, but it has been a fantastic test.

"I think that the professionalism and the skill of the engineering within the team is exceptional. There is no doubt there is a lot of work to do, but the test has been really positive.

"We’ve got some really good mileage under our belts, and the car has been very reliable. It’s been a good couple of days and I can’t wait to get back in the cockpit."

Ian James, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Formula E Ltd, added: “At Varano, we completed our second set of tests in preparation for Season 6.  All in all, it has been two very positive days of testing, during which we were able to put the new power unit in the car through its paces. But we also saw that there is still a lot to do so that we arrive well prepared for the first race in November."

Formula E's Season 6 campaign will commence on November 22 in Ad Diriyah, with Mercedes EQ replacing HWA Racelab on the grid while the arrival of fellow German manufacturer Porsche will see the field expand to 24 cars.