Currently running ahead of schedule
The E23 Hybrid made its debut at Jerez today, ahead of the team’s provisional schedule. A first shakedown lap was completed, as planned, followed by installation and functionality checks, before the car’s first day of running got underway with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel.
“It was fantastic to get behind the wheel for the first ever lap of this exciting new car,” said the Venezuelan driver. “Even though it’s early days we achieved a lot today. It was already exciting to feel the potential of the car and I can’t wait to get back in the car tomorrow. We did stop running early, but then it started to rain so everyone else came in too so it was not a big drama. The car certainly looks fantastic and I know we have a lot of potential for the season ahead.”
A total of 41 laps were completed, with Pastor setting a best lap of 1:25.802, before a drivetrain issue incurred late afternoon and put a stop to the day. Rain followed soon after however, limiting the amount of running still available to the rest of the field.
While reviewing the E23’s successful outing, Nick Chester commented: “Seeing the car on track for the first time was very satisfying and we owe a great deal of thanks to everyone at Enstone and everyone here at the circuit for the long hours which have been put in recently. We also say thank you to our partners and suppliers for assisting us with what has been a very ambitious build programme.
“We had predicted that we’d probably just be able to complete a couple of shakedown laps today, but thanks to some fantastic work overnight we were able to run the car from this morning. The feedback from Pastor has been positive at what is a very early stage in the car’s test programme. We can’t wait to get back out on track tomorrow.”
Our testing programme continues tomorrow with Pastor remaining on driving duty.