London, UK |14 May, 2018

Driving Formula E's Gen2 car - in the champion's words

It feels like an eternity since we pulled the covers off our radical new Gen2 car at the Geneva motor show back in March. With the news that Nico Rosberg would be driving the car for its first public appearance at Round 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin, we're counting down the days until we can see that weapon let loose on the track.

In case you've been living under a rock for the past few months, here's what all the fuss is about.

With double the range of the current Formula E machine, the Gen2 car will be able to complete a full race with no pit stop, touch 100km/h (60mph) in just 2.8 seconds and go on to a top speed of 280km/h (174mph). Oh, and it's quite possibly the most aggressive looking racing car to date.

But, then again, we're bound to say that, aren't we? With inital group tests carried out in Monteblanco and Calafat in Spain, all nine manufacturers have now had the chance to put the cars to the test. Catching up with Formula E's three champions, we asked them exactly what they made of it and here's what they had to say.

Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler (Season 3 champion)

My first impression with the car is that it is absolutely brilliant. It's definitely a step forward in terms of performance, power and drivability - the brakes are much better, the car's overall behaviour is much better. I'm happy with everything that Audi has done. For us, it was a lot of mileage, if not the most that we've done - the car behaved very well - we are very happy with the evolution and what we've done.

We collected a lot of data that will be analysed in the future but overall the first impression was super good and I'm already excited to race this car in the streets. Technically speaking, it's a great step for the championship.

In general, a super positive test.

Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams (Season 2 champion)

It's powerful! I haven't driven it as much as I'd like to but it's looking good so far.

It's going to be a big step in terms of power but the biggest step really comes from the battery technology. For the first time in Formula E history, we're going to a single car for the entire race, which is a similar weight, so that's the biggest change - more than the grip level, more than the downforce - this is supposed to be quite similar, so I don't think it will be that different from this year.

With just one car, it's more a problem in Free Practice if you have a massive shunt, then you're going to miss qualifying.

It's going to be more important to manage your weekend properly.

Formula E is in the process of optimising the tracks for next year but expect it to be amazing!

Nelson Piquet Jr, Panasonic Jaguar Racing (Season 1 champion)

In general its a better-looking car, it's quicker and it has better tyres - there's more grip. There's also no pit stop change next season, which helps a lot.

If you were to drive a Season 1 car in the morning and drive the Season 5 car in the afternoon, then you're going to feel a big difference. One had gears and was the same car for everyone and now, everyone is developing their own powertrain, so it's a bit different.

But when you do it constantly for five years, you don't notice the difference as much. It's like seeing someone grow up!

I think the competition will get closer as we go on, especially into season six and seven.

For the first season with this car, some teams are going to have advantages and there will be big differences with the cars before others catch up.

I think it's going to be easier to manage the battery - now there's just one - you can think about it more, it's one less variable. In my opinion, it's going to be easier to manage as it's only one car, one stint and no surprises.

See the Gen2 car make its public debut drive at the 2018 BMW i Berlin E-Prix driven by Nico Rosberg. Click here to be a part of it.