Dixon tested in France on Friday
"It is very different and very cool," the New Zealander told the Autosport Web site after lapping in this year's FW26 at the Le Castellet circuit in the south of France.
"Especially in the first few laps the car is so different to what I'm used to.
"It is just overwhelming the way it stops. I think the brakes are probably 100 times better and the car handles a lot better," added Dixon, more used to driving on ovals in the U.S.-based series, though he also competed on roads and streets in Champ Cars.
Although Friday's test was billed as a simple familiarization exercise, with a more meaningful session scheduled for Spain's Barcelona circuit early next month, Dixon's times stood up well to those of Ralf Schumacher.
"The big thing was getting used to the speed on the car on these tires," he said. "It is a strange feeling ... the car is very much on the edge but most of the time is very nimble."