Formula E’s rookie test returns for GEN3 later this month, with a host of motorsport talent getting a chance to jump behind the wheel of the championship’s latest era of car. Hosted after the Berlin double-header, several big names have already been announced for the test. Here’s all you need to know.
What classifies as a rookie?
To be able to take part in the official tests, drivers must own an International Grade B licence. They also can’t have taken part in a Formula E race weekend, so there is no chance you’ll be able to qualify for the rookie test if you’ve already got race experience from a previous E-Prix, for example.
Drivers must also have at least 20 licence points from various FIA championships in the last three years or have previously held an F1 Super Licence.
They will also need to complete a specific training session on electrical safety, understand the features of the fully-electric Formula E car, and know the technical and sporting regulations for the championship.
From the various test days given to teams over the season, a maximum of two of the six official days can be reserved for rookie drivers. They can only participate in up to two official test days.
Where is the test?
The private test will occur on 24 April, the Monday after the 2023 SABIC Berlin E-Prix double header. Hosted at the iconic Flughafen Tempelhof, one of the most recognisable locations the all-electric championship visits each year, the circuit and its track conditions are very unique.
Tackling the concrete slabs initially designed for planes and not electric racing cars means that the Hankook tyres will be pushed to their limits on the abrasive surface. As well as that challenge, these rookies might have to balance the unpredictable spring weather conditions and wrap their heads around the unique challenges of energy management at pace, as they aim to impress.
This will be the first time the test has been held in Berlin, with the previous three rookie tests completed in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Why do drivers take part?
For those curious about electric racing and competing in the world's leading electric racing championship, the rookie test is a fantastic opportunity to try it out first-hand. With the grid always being packed to the brim with such a high standard of talent, finding a seat can be a challenge - so much so, journalists and drivers alike have called the Formula E field the best in motorsport. However, you’re more likely to get the attention of the big bosses if you impress in the test.
Since the last rookie test in 2020, several drivers have made the step up to a full-time race seat. Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes, Nissan’s Norman Nato and NIO 333’s Sergio Sette Camara all qualified as rookies last time out and are now some of the brightest stars on the grid.
Who is confirmed so far?
Only a few teams have confirmed their line-ups so far. They include TAG Heuer Porsche, who will have FIA World Endurance Championship racer Yifiei Ye alongside the team's Test and Reserve driver David Beckmann in their two seats. IMSA and DTM driver Jack Aitken will be in at Envision, with Formula 2 driver Zane Maloney and reigning INDY NXT Champion Linus Lundqvist representing Avalanche Andretti.