Five things testing taught us ahead of Mexico City

With the new generation of Formula E around the corner, there are still a lot of questions about what we can expect from Gen3. The all-new all-electric machines will be tested around Mexico City on the 14 January, but we're not entering the total unknown.

Testing generic

Last month, all 11 teams and 22 drivers took to Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo for five days of pre-season testing.

Here's what testing taught us about what to expect in Mexico.

Cars are going to be rapid

Gen3 sees the top speed of these beasts increase to 200mph (320kph) and become some 60kg lighter. There's also the introduction of an additional front powertrain and the chassis is smaller. There's now double the regen capacity too, and a seriously impressive 350kW power output. 

Come the final day of testing, all of the top five drivers had already set times over a half-a-second quicker than what the previous generation of cars ever managed on the same track. 

Maserati MSG Racing's Maximilian Guenther locked in the fastest time of the test, a 1m25.127s. In fact, Guenther was on a roll during testing, topping the time sheets in five of the seven sessions.

The level of competition is as intense as ever

It's no secret that Formula E is home to the best motorsport talent, and that hasn't changed for Season 9. With five former Formula E champions on the current grid, the field is packed with excellent racers with heaps of experience from all backgrounds. 

Despite welcoming two new rookies for Season 9, over 80% of the current grid have secured podiums in the championship. Even then, Formula E newbie Jake Hughes looked quick and only dropped out of the top ten once in his NEOM McLaren during testing, finishing the test fourth-fastest overall.

READ MORE: Mexico City's best moments

With close racing guaranteed and "most drivers capable of winning races or championships", according to Mahindra Racing's Oliver Rowland, it promises to be another epic season.

Mexico always delivers fantastic racing in Formula E, so with a field of drivers this strong, we're sure to witness an unmissable Mexico City E-Prix once again.

Driving styles will need to change

We know that Gen3 brings considerable differences from the previous Formula E cars, which will see drivers have to relearn how to race these challenging machines.

This season the championship has a new tyre provider in Hankook. The tyres created are made with this new generation of Formula E in mind, and nearly 30 percent of the materials used are sustainable. However, they've got a different feel from previous compounds and are much harder with the rubber designed to retain its tread over a race weekend and full race distance - with four front and four rears available over a single race event. These characteristics will take some getting used to, with Jake Hughes claiming they make his McLaren feel "alive on-track" - exciting!

Braking will also be unlike before, with the drivers now having more control and a considerable amount of performance to gain over their rivals if they can get it right. 

Still a lot of unknowns

As with any significant updates to the regulations, learning the dos and don'ts can take time. Not all teams will likely be competitive straight away, and with so much to discover both mechanically and technologically, it's anyone's game. 

Although the teams managed to cover a whopping 17,300km distance between them over the five-day Valencia test, there'll be fresh challenges when they arrive in Mexico. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will push drivers to their limits with a mix of long and fast straights, tight twists and turns, and kerbs, plus a more abrasive track surface.

With plenty of room for improvement, we can't wait to see these cars reach their full potential as the season goes on! 

DS PENSKE is looking strong...

Although seven teams were in the top 10 fastest times at the end of the Valencia test, one squad looked to have hit the ground running with the new regulations. 

DS PENSKE, and their line-up of reigning Formula E champion Stoffel Vandoorne and double-champ Jean-Eric Vergne, looks to be one of the best teams on the current grid. 

Finishing the test with plenty of laps completed, great pace, and no major issues puts them in a strong position ahead of the first race of their 2022/23 campaign. Vandoorne and Vergne also slotted into second and third on the final timesheets, respectively, so they're definitely a team to look out for in Mexico. 

While you're here, take a look at the full 2022/23 Formula E grid.