Giovinazzi: "More comfortable" after tough first laps in Valencia test

DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT's new recruit Antonio Giovinazzi has been building confidence on his debut laps after admitting he was finding it 'tough' getting familiar with the intricacies of driving an all-electric single-seater.

The Italian is one of three new rookies joining the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship next season, after taking a seat with the all-American Dragon squad alongside Sergio Sette Camara, and has been getting his first taste of the Penske EV-5 in the official pre-season test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain.

"Everything is completely different, but I was expecting this. It’s been a tough couple of days so far," said Giovinazzi speaking in Tuesday's press conference.

"Monday was my first laps in the car and today was our first race simulation, so the opportunity is there to learn many things. I’m more comfortable in the car today than I was yesterday and I’m sure that will only get better with a couple more months’ work."

New DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT recruit, Antonio Giovinazzi shining in the setting Spanish sun

He continued: "I’ve driven lots of different cars from LMP2 to GT and Formula 1 and then I got into this car and everything feels so different – especially on braking, the downforce and there’s no noise! I was expecting it would be hard but it’s been tougher than that."

Giovinazzi has been grafting at the Spanish circuit after logging an impressive 147 laps in just two days of testing this week. After initially having a slow start down the order of the timesheets, the Italian's last efforts in the fourth test session saw him end the day in 17th on the leaderboard but within a second of Stoffel Vandoorne's flying full-power lap.

Doubling up his driving this week, Giovinazzi's work has now completed in Spain as he makes his way to Saudi Arabia to continue his Formula 1 duties with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. The Italian's next chance will be in Dragon's simulators as he prepares for the opening rounds of Season 8 in Diriyah from 28 January 2022.

"I’m in the first phase and I’ll try to do my best with a lot of work in the simulator back at the factory in December and January," said Giovinazzi. "It will be a difficult first part of the season but we’ll work hard to be in good shape as soon as possible."

"I still have to race in F1 and then there’s Christmas but I want to get a lot of miles in the sim and work on procedure and everything. It’s not much time, you’d always want more, but it’s the way it is."