Pascal Wehrlein has admitted that it’s “difficult to gauge” just how relevant the official Formula E pre-season test is, due to the unique nature of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Testing has taken place in Valencia now for several years, although why the test is held there has been questioned by some drivers multiple times. As pointed out by Wehrlein, Valencia “is not a typical Formula E track”, with it effectively having not a single comparison to a street circuit.

It’s not uncommon for teams to perform well in the Spanish city but then struggle when the season gets underway, as was the case for Maserati MSG Racing in season nine. Maximilian Günther topped testing ahead of the first season of the Gen3 era, only for the Italian manufacturer to struggle in the opening few rounds.

However, with an increasing number of purpose-built circuits starting to join the calendar, Wehrlein has recognised that showing good pace in Valencia is actually quite important. Season 10 alone will feature three actual race tracks, in the form of Mexico City, Portland and Shanghai. The Italian double-header is also expected to take place at a traditional circuit rather than in the capital city.

It means that at least six races next season will be held at an actual venue – Shanghai and Italy are both hosting a double-header – making up for effectively a third of the calendar.

With this in mind, Wehrlein was pleased with how strong the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team were during the test last week. Almost every driver in testing lapped quicker than Günther’s leading time from almost 12 months ago, highlighting just how much has been learnt about the Gen3 machinery.

Above: Wehrlein’s best lap-time was a 1m 24.747s – Credit: Simon Galloway courtesy of FIA Formula E

Wehrlein completed 231 laps throughout the test and set the eighth-quickest time, whilst his team-mate set the second fastest lap. This suggests that Porsche have possibly solved their one-lap performance woes, which in many ways were one of the leading reasons as to why Wehrlein and the Stuttgart-based squad didn’t walk away with the titles last season.

If they have found something in the software to become stronger in qualifying, then this is a massive deal ahead of the sport’s centurion campaign.

The German driver was pleased with his performance during testing and admitted that there was some uncertainty as to whether on-track action would even take place, following the battery fire after the opening session last Tuesday.

“That was a very helpful week that ended well,” Wehrlein said. “After the incident on Tuesday, we didn’t know whether we’d still be able to drive. We learned a lot from last year and our pace was good. Valencia is not a typical Formula E track, so it’s always difficult to gauge how relevant this test ultimately is.

“However, given that there are more and more circuits like this on the calendar, we needed to be competitive here. We completed our schedule and the test race also went well for us. Still, we have a lot to do before the start of the season.”

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