Formula E

Formula E Rookie Test 2024 in Berlin: Shwartzman sets best time of the day, red flags by Vanthoor & Drugovich

Timo Pape

Timo Pape


On the Monday after the double header in Berlin, Formula E organised a rookie test, as it did last year, in which drivers who had not yet competed in a race in the electric series were allowed to test the car. Robert Shwartzman (DS Penske) won both the morning and afternoon sessions. Jak Crawford (Andretti) and Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar) took second and third place in the daily standings. Each session was interrupted once by a red phase, which was triggered by Dries Vanthoor (Envision) in the morning and Felipe Drugovich (Maserati) in the afternoon.

The three-hour morning session at Tempelhof began at 9am in bright sunshine and perfect conditions. Some teams took a few minutes to send their drivers out onto the track, but DS rookie Robert Shwartzman was one of the first on the track and set the fastest time early on. Enzo Fittipaldi for Jaguar and Thomas Preining for Porsche were only able to drive out some time later.

Further fastest times in the first hour of testing came from Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar) and Zane Maloney (Andretti). Gabriele Mini then took the top spot in the Nissan. His car with starting number 23 - actually that of regular driver Sacha Fenestraz - had been completely rebuilt overnight. As Nissan team boss Tommaso Volpe revealed to us the evening before, the monocoque had to be replaced after the racing accident between Fenestraz and Norman Nato on Sunday.

Just before the 2-hour mark, Frederik Vesti in the Mahindra set a new best time. The Dane made a strong impression throughout the entire session. Then there was a crash: Dries Vanthoor (Envision) hit the wall with the front end in turn 3. His car then had to be transported back to the pits by a tow truck without a front wing. The session was interrupted for around 15 minutes with red flags.

After the restart, DS driver Shwartzman immediately staked his claim again. With a lap time of 1:02.332 minutes, he took the lead again and would remain there until the end of the morning session at 12 noon. Felipe Drugovic, Vesti, van der Linde and Mini completed the top five after three hours.

Shwartzman also fastest in the afternoon, Drugovich causes interruption

The second session in the afternoon started at 14:00. Maini (Mahindra) set the fastest time early on and held on to the lead for quite some time. After just over half an hour, the race day was again interrupted by a red phase. Felipe Drugovich (Maserati) had stopped between turns 4 and 5. However, the Brazilian did not crash into the wall like Vanthoor (Envision), but appeared to have had a technical problem with the car. It was towed away and repaired by the Maserati mechanics. He was able to continue driving half an hour later.

About halfway through the session, there was some movement in the leading group. Shwartzman (DS Penske) pushed Maini out of first place and Fittipaldi in the Jaguar jumped up to third, with Vesti (Mahindra) behind him in the leading positions. Then birthday boy Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar) made his first appearance of the day and surprisingly took second place.

After that, it was very quiet on the track. The FIA used this time to investigate Edgar (DS Penske), Shwartzman and Fittipaldi, who had apparently not adhered to the "User Manual". Shortly before the end, however, they decided to let the incident rest. Drugovich came back in the final phase and from then on occupied third place until Jak Crawford (Andretti) set his personal best time and moved up to second place ahead of the Brazilian. This ended the session, which was also won by Robert Shwartzman ahead of the aforementioned Crawford in the Andretti and Sheldon van der Linde in the Jaguar. As the afternoon session was better, especially for the top 10, it is also decisive for the overall classification. You can find it here:

Results & lap times

Additional reporting by Svenja König

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