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FIA and Formula E working in close partnership to promote rookie participation in forward-thinking series.

Drivers aspiring to race in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship have two upcoming opportunities to showcase their skills in the pioneering electric single-seater series’ new Gen3 car, with the organisation of an exclusive test day in Berlin and a dedicated 30-minute free practice session in Rome.

As part of their commitment to investing in the future of the sport, the FIA and Formula E have made it one of their key priorities to introduce new drivers to the championship and promote rookie participation.

Nissan Formula E Team’s Sacha Fenestraz is a prime example. The French-Argentine ace earned himself a reserve driver role with Jaguar Racing in Season 7 off the back of his performance in the rookie test in Marrakech in early 2020. He went on to make his competitive debut in the series for Dragon/Penske Autosport in Seoul eight months ago, prior to securing a full-time race seat for the 2022/23 campaign with Nissan.

Fenestraz scored points for the first time with eighth place in Diriyah, before qualifying fourth and running confidently up at the sharp end in the inaugural Hyderabad E-Prix. A fortnight later in Cape Town, the 23-year-old posted the fastest lap in Formula E history on his way to a maiden pole position, and looked to be on course for a podium finish until he hit the wall on the last lap – but he had already more than made his mark.

He is not the only driver in the current pack to have got his big break via a rookie test. That same day in Marrakech just over three years ago, Nick Cassidy, Norman Nato, Sérgio Sette Câmara and Jake Hughes similarly took to the track. Two of them have since established themselves as race-winners – Cassidy, indeed, sits third in the points table ahead of the forthcoming Berlin double-header – and all four, like Fenestraz, have repeatedly shown that they deserve their coveted place on the Formula E grid.

Now, a whole host of fellow hopefuls have the chance to impress and ultimately follow in those footsteps. On Monday, 24 April – following rounds seven and eight of the season in Berlin, Germany – a full-day rookie test will take place on the Tempelhof Airport track, granting competitors a unique opportunity to get to grips with the nuances of the championship’s cutting-edge Gen3 single-seater. This is open to drivers who have not previously participated in a Formula E race weekend or taken part in two or more official test days.

On the entry list are a number of highly-rated young racers. Felipe Drugovich (Maserati MSG Racing), Victor Martins (Nissan Formula E Team), Mikel Azcona (NIO 333 Racing), Adrien Tambay (ABT CUPRA FORMULA E TEAM), Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar TCS Racing) and Linus Lundqvist (Avalanche Andretti) are all recent champions, having been crowned last year respectively in FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, FIA WTCR, FIA ETCR, DTM and Indy Lights.

Zane Maloney (Avalanche Andretti) pushed Martins hard for the title in FIA Formula 3, while DS Penske will field a car for Ferrari Formula 1 reserve driver and 2021 FIA Formula 2 runner-up Robert Shwartzman, as Envision Racing hands a chance to current IMSA SportsCar Championship leader Jack Aitken. At TAG Heuer Porsche, meanwhile, David Beckmann and Yifei Ye paired up to win the LMP2 class in last month’s 1,000 Miles of Sebring, the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship curtain-raiser.

Building upon the Berlin test, in Rome just under three months later, a 30-minute ‘FP0’ practice session will be held for competitors aged 18 and over who have never previously raced in Formula E. All teams are obliged to run at least one driver in this session.

“Nurturing the next generation and developing the stars of the future is a cornerstone of our focus in Formula E,” commented Pablo Martino, Head of Sporting Matters at the FIA. “We are working hand-in-hand with the championship to maximise opportunities for up-and-coming talents.

“A key aim of the test day in Berlin and the FP0 session in Rome is to offer promising young drivers an insight into the championship and allow them to familiarise themselves with the ground-breaking Gen3 car – another significant step towards our longer-term goal of integrating rookies even more tightly into the heart and the fabric of Formula E race weekends.”