Formula E scraps rookie practice rule, additional session planned in Rome
The fact that in 2023 at least two free practice sessions junior drivers:innen should be used, caused unrest in the paddock even before the start of the current Formula E season. Now the teams in the electric series have scored a success in negotiations with the FIA: The controversial discussed rookie rule will be dropped. Instead, an additional practice session is to be held at the Rome E-Prix.
As a spokesman for the series confirmed to 'e-Formel.de', instead of two mandatory practice sessions for rookies, there will be a "zero free practice" in Italy, in which only Pilot:innen may participate, who have not yet made Formula E racing experience. Last week, 'The Race' had first reported on the agreement.
According to our information, the practice session in Rome is to take place on Friday before the first race and, like the other practice sessions, will last half an hour. Each team is to occupy only one cockpit, so that a total of eleven driver:inside participate in the training. Afterwards, they will leave the cars back to the regular drivers for the remainder of the race weekend, starting the penultimate weekend of the 2023 season with the scheduled 1st free practice session on the same day..
The rule change is the result of weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations in Formula E. The FIA had initially proposed that teams give their cockpits in two free practice sessions to driver:s who have not yet contested a race in the electric series. A similar rule has been in place for years in Formula 1, where the racing teams have significantly more training time at their disposal. Since the rookie training sessions would rob the Formula E drivers of valuable experience in view of the already scarce track time, the racing teams in the electric series resisted the new rule - with success.
Formula E will offer another test opportunity for young drivers at the Berlin E-Prix. There, a dedicated test day for rookies is planned for the Monday after the race, as we reported last week..
"This is a step in the right direction after the rookie status suffered a bit in the last two years for various reasons," David Beckmann told 'e-Formel.de'. The German is currently reserve driver for the Porsche and Andretti teams and is considered a suitable candidate for both teams for the rookie test and at the junior training session in Rome.
For the 22-year-old, he says the opportunities are important to get himself talked about by both his own team and other racing teams. "That's where you can build up a market value, that's very important for me. That's why I really hope that in the next few weeks I will find a solution together with Porsche and Andretti to get the chance to drive there."
But first up for Beckmann is race preparation for the Cape Town E-Prix, where he will be supporting Porsche and Andretti. The first Formula E race in South Africa is scheduled for Feb. 25.