SunSport man takes Formula E car for a spin and is taught by driver in Germany at Berlin E-Prix Circuit

SUNSPORT reporter George Boulton was invited to test drive a Formula E car.

Our man recalls the exhilarating experience as MS&AD Andretti driver Stephane Sarrazin showed him the ropes in a BMW i8 before going into the all-electric race car.

 SunSport reporter George Boulton was put behind the wheel of a Formula E car

Formula E
SunSport reporter George Boulton was put behind the wheel of a Formula E car
 Experienced race driver Stephane Sarrazin gave his advice before hitting the track

Formula E
Experienced race driver Stephane Sarrazin gave his advice before hitting the track

Driving my 1.25 litre Ford Fiesta could never have prepared me for getting behind the wheel of a Formula E car.

The all-electric car has a top speed of 140mph, reaching 0-60mph in just three seconds – while weighing 300kg less than my day-to-day hatchback.

The 190kW battery generates 250 horsepower but makes minimal noise allowing you to hear your surroundings from the cockpit much easier.

The lack of air and noise pollution gives Formula E the luxury of racing in the heart of city centres.

 Stephane Sarrazin gave me tips and spoke about the track in detail before we got started

Formula E
Stephane Sarrazin gave me tips and spoke about the track in detail before we got started
 I began my experience in a BMW i8

Formula E
I began my experience in a BMW i8

Before I was allowed to go anywhere near the race car, I was introduced to MS&AD Andretti driver Stephan Sarrazin.

The Frenchman has been involved in Formula E since the start in 2014, while also having experience in 15 other different race series.

His knowledge and experience was obvious seconds into our briefing, before I hopped into the passenger seat of a BMW i8, with him showing me round the track.

The circuit in Berlin was hosted at Tempelhof Airport, which played a major part in World War II.

The historic airport is now the setting for Hollywood blockbusters such as The Hunger Games, The Bourne Supremacy and Bridge of Spies.

 Stephan Sarrazin has been in Formula E since the start in 2014

Formula E
Stephan Sarrazin has been in Formula E since the start in 2014
 Getting familiar with the intricate steering wheel and controls in the i8 was the first challenge

Formula E
Getting familiar with the intricate steering wheel and controls in the i8 was the first challenge

Sarrazin pulled away from the pitlane to begin our first recreational lap, where he showed me the racing line and all the breaking points.

The Frenchman then gradually picked up the speed as the laps went on before eventually going flat out – hitting top speeds of 150mph.

While also scarily pointing that if I were to drive over the rubber marbles left from the race, I would skid and crash straight into the wall – on the fastest corner on the track.

And these fine margins made me even more nervous as I was about to get into a FE car worth over a million pounds.

It was difficult to make a mental note all of the tips he had passed on, but before I knew it I was out in the BMW i8 on my own.

I began very timidly on my first lap – getting a grip of the car, the track and also my nerves.

I progressively got a feel of the circuit and after ten laps of racing around with the supercar, I was ready for the championship vehicle.

 I began my first few laps in the BMW i8 slowly before gradually improving my pace

Formula E
I began my first few laps in the BMW i8 slowly before gradually improving my pace
 I then got familiar with the circuit and the track after ten laps

Formula E
I then got familiar with the circuit and the track after ten laps

I climbed into the Formula E cockpit with my feet resting delicately on the pedals, as I was wary of the power they possessed.

The engineers tightly buckled me in, attached the radio and gave a run down of the how the car and the intricate steering wheel works.

Despite my nerves, I was told I had to really push on my first lap.

This was because the breaks and engine needed to be warmed up for it to operate at its optimum temperature.

I peeled out of the pits and I just remembered to pull my visor down in time before a tiny piece of debris hit my helmet.

 Engineers then buckled me tightly and instructed me on how to approach my laps and how to use the steering wheel

Formula E
Engineers then buckled me tightly and instructed me on how to approach my laps and how to use the steering wheel
 At first I had to warm the tires and the breaks of the car in my opening lap

Formula E
At first I had to warm the tires and the breaks of the car in my opening lap

Before I knew it, I was at the first turn and I braked extremely heavily as I did not know how the car would react.

It was lucky I did break early because at first the breaks were cool and it took a while for them and the engine to warm up and become more responsive.

Turn by turn the car became more steady, as did my confidence.

​​SunSport reporter George Boulton drives Formula E car in Germany at the Berlin E-Prix circuit

I could really feel the immense torque and acceleration as I put my foot down on the longest straight of the Formula E calendar.

I then got in the groove of the track and the flappy-paddle gearbox as I dared to clip apexes and go closer to the wall.

But in reality although I was going flat out, feeling like Ayrton Senna or Lewis Hamilton, I was still way off the pace of the pros – as you’d expect.

And I think for my safety and the for the sake of the engineers it’s probably best I leave the professionals to go behind the wheel.

 Once the car was at the optimum temperature it was lightening quick and a joy to drive

Formula E
Once the car was at the optimum temperature it was lightening quick and a joy to drive
 I carefully guided the car, which worth over £1million, around corners in Berlin

Formula E
I carefully guided the car, which worth over £1million, around corners in Berlin
 The test lap experience took place at the historic Tempelhof Airport

Formula E
The test lap experience took place at the historic Tempelhof Airport

SUNSPORT reporter George Boulton was invited to test drive a Formula E car.