In an exclusive interview with e-racing.net, the Argentine Formula E newcomer José-María López discussed his expectations ahead of pre-season testing and his debut in Hong Kong.
José-María López expressed his ambitions for his Formula E debut, having been announced last month as Sam Bird’s partner in DS Virgin Racing. The 33-year-old Argentine multiple WTCC champion predicted that his team will be a strong contender.
“I really liked to drive the Formula E car, I’m trying to learn everything I can. It’s a new era in my career, but I’m glad to remain in the PSA group. Many people who have worked in WTCC have now moved to the Formula E project, so I’m sure we’ll be strong challengers thanks to the work they’ve been doing,” he said about his first experience testing the car in Guadix.
When asked about the lack of noise and different sounds, he answered: “It’s different, but you forget that after the first lap and focus on your driving. In the end, it’s just like any race car and you just have to drive as fast as you can. It’s strange to feel noises you can’t perceive in any other car, like tyres, brakes, or gears. There’s no comparison with touring cars: different brakes, different tyres, different engines. It’s a completely different driving style. But the essence remains the same: drive fast.”
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”It’s a completely different driving style. But the essence remains the same: drive fast.”[/pullquote]
His years as a Renault F1 test driver back in 2003-2006 mean he has shared lots of time with current Formula E stars: “It’s been really nice to meet old partners, particularly Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Jerome D’Ambrosio, who I was part of Renault Driver Development with. I remain friends with them, particularly with Loic who lives very close to me in Switzerland. I’m happy to be competing with these types of drivers.”
“I’ve spoken very little with Sam [Bird; editor’s note], I’m the only one who tested so far, so there was almost no contact,” he said about his new team-mate at DS Virgin. “Every team has 15 days of private testing sessions allowed, we’ve used almost all of them, I’ve done five. Later, from August 25th onwards we will be joining the official testing. The last tests before the start of the season are in September”.