New rule: Formula E teams must use rookies at Valencia tests
After the rookie test following the Berlin E-Prix and a so-called "zero free practice", Formula E will give drivers who have not yet competed in a race a third driving opportunity this year as part of the pre-season testing in Valencia. All teams must replace each regular driver with a Formula E rookie for one of the six scheduled sessions, reports The Race. The first drivers have already been announced.
Three days of testing are planned again this year, each with two sessions of three hours in length. Each of the 22 regular drivers must be replaced in one of these sessions by a Formula E rookie who has not yet contested a race in the electric series. However, this does not apply to the two sessions on Wednesday, as the racing series intends to run two race simulations here: one in the morning and another in the afternoon. To this end, Formula E deleted the passage in the Sporting Regulations that a driver is no longer considered a rookie after taking part in two test runs.
Several teams have already announced who will take their car: Andretti will rely on Zane Maloney, Envision Racing on Jack Aitken. Both had already driven for the teams in Berlin and Rome. For Mahindra, Jordan King will take the wheel, the Briton having also driven in Berlin. According to The Race, Robert Shwartzman will drive for DS Penske. The Russian, who currently drives under an Israeli licence, also already drove in the German capital.
BACK ON TRACK- Envision Racing (@Envision_Racing) October 17, 2023
We are delighted that Jack Aitken will be in the car again during pre-season testing next week! ? pic.twitter.com/s34dYLPPwu
Yann Ehrlacher, driving for the first time in the DS Penske in Rome, is to join Stellantis' sister brand Maserati instead. Adrien Tambay is also to sit in the ABT Cupra car for the third time after Berlin and Rome, German junior driver Tim Tramnitz gets his second test opportunity in the team's racing car after Berlin. Nissan is to field two newcomers, too: Luca Ghiotto and Victor Martins. These two have also already driven in Berlin, Ghiotto additionally also in Rome.
At Porsche, on the other hand, there is a surprise: as David Beckmann no longer counts as a rookie due to his entry in Jakarta - he replaced the indisposed Andre Lotterer at Andretti - the team is fielding the Czech Gabriela Jilkova. The 28-year-old has mainly driven GT races in recent years, but also competed in the Prototype Cup Germany in 2023. In this series, which is contested with LMP3 cars, she won the second race at Zandvoort.
? I am very grateful and excited that I will join TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team at the pre-season test at Valencia ? Last season I supported the team on the simulator and now I'm looking forward to test the Porsche 99x Electric in real life. Thank you @PorscheFormulaE ?? pic.twitter.com/zctvsviGiO- Gabriela Jílková - #QuickGabi (@QuickGabi) October 17, 2023
Jilkova will thus become the first woman to drive a Gen3 car in an official session. The last female driver before her was Alice Powell, who drove for Envision in the 2021 pre-season test sessions.
Overview: The rookie entry list for the Formula E tests in Valencia 2023
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2 (optional)|
|ABT Cupra||Tim Tramnitz||Adrian Tambay|
|DS Penske||Robert Shwartzman|
|Envision Racing||Jack Aitken|
|Jaguar TCS Racing||Sheldon van der Linde|
|Mahindra Racing||Jordan King|
|Maserati MSG Racing||Jehan Daruvala *||Yann Ehrlacher|
|Neom McLaren||Taylor Barnard|
|Nio 333 Racing||Mikel Azcona|
|Nissan||Luca Ghiotto||Victor Martins|
|TAG Heuer Porsche||Gabriela Jilkova|
* Note: Jehan Daruvala counts as a rookie himself and therefore does not have to vacate his cockpit for another driver.