Gen3 opportunity for motorsport youngsters: FIA confirms 2023 Formula E rookie test in Berlin
Strict testing restrictions and short practice times make it difficult for Formula E teams to introduce young drivers to the electric series. In order to pave the way for young talent to enter the category, Formula E is now planning a new edition of the "rookie test" that was once held annually. This is to take place immediately after the in Berlin E-Prix 2023, as 'e-Formel.de' has learned exclusively..
On request, the FIA confirmed that currently the Monday after the double race in Berlin-Tempelhof is scheduled for the test day, i.e. April 24, 2023. If it takes place according to the specifications that applied in the past, teams may only register driver:s for the junior test who have not yet participated in an official session of an E-Prix weekend.
Between 2018 and 2020, Formula E hosted rookie tests, each of which was scheduled to follow the Marrakech E-Prix. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as organizational difficulties, the electric series has since dispensed with official tests during the season.
The track in Morocco was well suited for the test due to its remoteness from public roads. The situation is similar in Berlin, where the E-Prix will take place on a track on the apron of the disused Tempelhof Airport. Residents:inside will not be disturbed by the race, so dismantling the course can easily be delayed by a day.
According to our information, a new edition of the test day was already planned last year, but had to be canceled due to the increase of the Berlin race to a "double-header" as well as time pressure in the onward transport of the vehicles to Jakarta. Now it should work out - with a little more planning certainty - following the 2023 race.
Teams & drivers hope for new Gen3 experience
Some teams already have reservists in the lineup who are eligible for the rookie test. One of them is David Beckmann: The German has been part of Avalanche Andretti's lineup since 2022. Since this year he has also been supporting Andretti's drive supplier Porsche and is available to both teams as a substitute driver should regular drivers Pascal Wehrlein or Antonio Felix da Costa drop out. He has not yet been used in an official session. At Porsche's home race in Berlin, that could be the case.
There Beckmann could meet his former Formula 2 rival Jehan Daruvala, who has been supporting Mahindra Racing since this year and has already indicated on the race weekend in Hyderabad that he wants to drive in a rookie test in Berlin.
Several Formula E drivers also made the leap into the regular cockpit thanks to a rookie test: drivers such as Norman Nato, Maximilian Günther, Nico Müller and Nick Cassidy all found their way into the electric series via the rookie opportunity. Nyck de Vries even managed to win the Formula E world championship title a few years after taking part in the rookie test..
But the teams and manufacturers can also benefit from the event in Berlin: Any opportunity to test the newly developed Gen3 powertrains should provide them with valuable information on the efficiency, reliability and performance of their engine packages.
additional reporting by Tobias Wirtz.