Monday, May 27, 2024

Several Drivers Confirmed for Special Rome Rookie Session

Ahead of next weekend’s Rome E-Prix double-header, several rookie drivers have been confirmed for the special Free Practice 0, which will take place ahead of the traditional Free Practice 1. The unique session is for rookie drivers only, with some teams having announced who they’ll be fielding.

To be eligible for the session, all drivers must have never competed in a race in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship or have featured on the Season Nine entry list. They are allowed to have driven Formula E machinery before though, in a previous rookie test. With the Rome double-header being just a week away, the majority of the teams have confirmed who’ll be completing the session for them.

Envision Racing will be fielding Jack Aitken, who drove for the customer Jaguar team in the recent Berlin rookie test. In fact, all of the confirmed drivers so far participated in the rookie test at the Tempelhof Airport Circuit, after the Berlin E-Prix. Constructors’ Championship leaders TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will be represented in the session by Chinese driver Yifei Ye, who is competing in the World Endurance Championship this season.

Ye is driving a customer team’s Porsche 963 hybrid prototype in the WEC, as Porsche’s Motorsport Asia Pacific selected driver. Maserati MSG Racing have opted to use reigning Formula 2 World Champion and official Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver Felipe Drugovich, who can’t wait to represent the Italian manufacturer in the Italian capital.

“My first experience of Formula E in Berlin was very positive, and I found the Maserati Tipo Folgore very fun and rewarding to drive,” Drugovich said.

“The series is unique in comparison to any other single-seater category, and after discovering the nuances of the GEN3 car earlier this year, I’m excited to continue my own development as a driver in Rome. Representing such an iconic Italian brand in the heart of its capital city will be a very special experience, and I would like to thank the team for their continued support. I can’t wait.”

Above: Felipe Drugovich at the Berlin Rookie Test – Credit: Maserati MSG Racing

Current F2 driver Zane Maloney will also be taking part in the special Rome session, where he’ll be driving for Avalanche Andretti Formula E once again. Avalanche Andretti Team Principal Roger Griffiths was very impressed by how the Barbadian driver performed at the Berlin rookie test, something which made the American team “happy to announce” that Maloney would be driving for them in Rome.

“Zane Maloney’s performance during the previous Rookie Test in Berlin left a lasting impression on the Avalanche Andretti Formula E team,” said Griffiths.

“We were impressed by his approach, his maturity, and the pace he showed. Therefore, we are very happy to announce that we are entrusting the No. 36 car to Zane during the Rookie session in Rome.”

Maloney isn’t the only F2 driver to be taking part, as Mahindra Racing reserve driver Jehan Daruvala will be in Rome for the rookie practice session. The Mahindra reserve driver will be hoping to perform well in Rome, given reports that he’s targeting a seat for Season Ten.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to drive for the team in Rome,” said the Indian driver. “We had a very successful test last time out in Berlin, so I’m looking forward to more of the same in Rome.”

The only other driver currently confirmed for the rookie test is GT and endurance driver Charlie Eastwood, who’ll be driving for the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. Ex-F2 driver Luca Ghiotto is expected to complete the test for the Nissan Formula E Team; however, it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. Jaguar TCS Racing, DS Penske, NIO 333 Racing and ABT CUPRA Formula E Team are also yet to confirm who’ll be completing the session for them.