Nico Rosberg may be done with the world of Formula 1, but that doesn't mean the former world champion can stay away from a race car.
Rosberg has recently become acquainted with the world of Formula E. With a brand new generation of electric racing machine on its hands, the series invited the 32-year-old to sample the latest whirring wizardry during the Berlin round of the 2017/2018 Formula E season held earlier this month.
The car is called the Gen2. It's the second-generation machine for the Formula E racing series, and it packs serious upgrades over the prior race cars. The biggest upgrade sits with the battery pack. These Gen2 car boast double the capacity of the older cars. That's a huge improvement as it means that there will be no need for a car swap halfway through a given race. It will also lead to higher top speeds and more aggressive team strategies.
While Rosberg is used to an internal combustion powered race car, he appeared eager and excited to give the Formula E Gen2 a go. Right off the bat, it's clear Nico is impressed with the acceleration and throttle response. He's not, however, in love with the brakes. The bias needs to be adjusted and Nico does that on the fly with some information doled out over his radio. After that, Rosberg keeps pushing hard for the attending crowd.
As Formula E evolves, so too are its cars. The Gen2 is still a controlled chassis, but the list of items the teams can change is growing. The powertrain, transmission, suspension, and software management are all specific to each team. The battery is the same across all teams, but that's fine for now. Especially considering that Formula E just made all of its cars a lot better by nearly doubling battery capacity.
Is it enough of a tantalizing series to tempt someone like Rosberg? Not at the moment, but former F1 driver Felipe Massa has made the move. As automaker involvement increases, electric tech continues to improve, and more top-tier talent jumps in, the future of Formula E is looks ever brighter.