Drivers and teams clock up a significant amount of laps over first two days in Valencia as new Gen3 single-seater immediately proves its potential.

Maximilian Günther has been the man to beat over the opening two days of testing in Valencia this week ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s 2022/23 campaign, dipping beneath the series’ existing lap record at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo as drivers and teams increasingly get to grips with the pioneering Gen3 car.

No stranger to setting the pace during pre-season testing – having done so twice before – Günther mastered mixed conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday to get Maserati MSG Racing’s Formula E journey off to a promising start. The iconic Italian manufacturer is making its eagerly-anticipated return to top-tier international single-seater competition – following an absence of more than six decades.

The test marks the first representative running of Gen3 – the fastest, lightest and most sustainable Formula E car to-date – and following a brace of three-hour sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday was dedicated to a full race day simulation.

This ‘dress rehearsal’ comprised a practice session, Groups and Duels qualifying shoot-out and mock E-Prix complete with safety car intervention. It was designed to enable competitors to prepare as comprehensively as possible for the championship’s rapidly approaching new era, particularly with many drivers settling into unfamiliar surroundings following a significant number of off-season team changes.

Günther is amongst the new faces in new places this week, but it did not hold the experienced German back as he confidently posted a clean sweep of fastest times, stopping the clocks with a 1m25.449s on Wednesday afternoon.

That was more than three tenths-of-a-second quicker than the previous Gen2 benchmark at the track in its current configuration, demonstrating the new car’s evident potential as between them, the series’ 22 drivers tallied more than 2,000 laps over the course of the three timed sessions.

In his new DS Penske colours, defending champion Stoffel Vandoorne has unsurprisingly been a leading contender, lapping inside the top five throughout Tuesday before leaping up the order into second on Wednesday, just over a quarter-of-a-second adrift of Günther’s best effort.

Competing for Nissan, Formula E returnee Norman Nato bounced back from a difficult opening day to climb to third overall, ahead of two-time title-winner Jean-Éric Vergne in the second DS Penske entry.

The Frenchman is closely followed on the timesheets by Günther’s Maserati team-mate Edoardo Mortara, making for four Stellantis-powered cars inside the mid-week top five, with impressive rookie Jake Hughes a scant 0.004s further behind in sixth for Neom McLaren following a strong run in the first session on Tuesday morning. The Briton additionally “took the honours” in the test ‘race’.

Pascal Wehrlein sits seventh for TAG Heuer Porsche, with ABT Cupra’s Robin Frijns eighth, Oliver Rowland (Mahindra Racing) ninth and 2019/20 champion António Félix da Costa tenth on his maiden appearance for Porsche. In evidence of the championship’s famously close-fought nature, the top ten drivers are all blanketed by less than a second.

Testing continues with a one hour session today (15 December) and concludes with two final three-hour sessions on Friday (16 December), building up towards the start of the 16-round 2022/23 Formula E campaign at Mexico City’s famous Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on 14 January.