Gen3 FE car offers “good stepping stone”, mixed reviews on “rock” Hankook tires

Jake Boxall-Legge

Pascal Wehrlein broke ground with Porsche’s upcoming Gen3 car at the manufacturer’s test site in Weissach, while Oliver Rowland gave Mahindra the first run at the Abingdon Airfield.

Recalling his first attempt in the car, Wehrlein explained that there were differences in the overall feel of the Gen3 package regarding the revised braking system versus the tried and true Gen2 car – which will be out in the pasture at the end of the season. will be set .

Notably, the Gen3 car has no rear brakes, but that’s all handled by the regenerative capacity of the rear engine – producing an increased power of 350 kW.

“It was interesting – I mean, great to have some time in the car,” Wehrlein said. “In some ways it’s very different. In some ways it’s also similar.

“But yeah, it was good to put some miles on it, get a first impression of how the car behaves, how the tires behave, check all the systems and so on. And yes, to get a first idea.

“The main goal is to make the handling as good as possible. The braking definitely feels different. But let’s just say there is still a lot of work to be done in the field of performance running.

“It was only the first test and we have a lot of tests until next year in Mexico.”

Rowland explained that Mahindra had endured a few problems in his first runs, prior to Nick Heidfeld’s appearance in the Mahindra Gen3 car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Heidfeld’s run at Goodwood was plagued by the lack of rain available, with Rowland stating that “whoever put on Goodwood really only had front brakes”.

Oliver Rowland, Mahindra Racing

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“We were a little behind,” Rowland added.

“We missed the shakedown day, but we managed to sort everything out on our side for the second day in terms of reliability, but we were a little behind and we couldn’t get to full power.

“I think the braking performance in a straight line will be very good. There is a lot of braking power in the car with the rain on the front and rear axles.

“But of course the front drivetrain is going to change some things leading into the corners. We had a lot of issues with the front lockout and stuff.

“I think [Heidfeld’s Goodwood runs] got faster and faster. But the tires are extremely hard.

“And if you do it for a 50 second sprint, it’s rock tires. It’s a challenge. Whether they’ll change that to make them a little softer, we’ll have to see.”

Wehrlein suggested that in general the new tires would need to be harder to handle the increased power of the Gen3 car, adding that their characteristics would depend on the circuits used next year.

“I think it also depends on the track, but yes, they have to be harder than what we have now because we have more power,” he said.

“And I think they want to keep a similar strategy with just one set or two sets of tires per race.”

Oliver Turveywho performed the first run of NIO 333 with the Gen3 car, said the new car offers “a good step forward” and was particularly impressed with the acceleration of the incoming machines.

“It was great to have the opportunity to be the first person in the Gen3 NIO 333 car, and we had a pretty successful test,” he said.

“The team pushed extremely hard on Gen3 and the whole team put in a tremendous effort. So it was definitely a good step up in power, and the acceleration feels really good.”