Maserati MSG Racing welcomed Felipe Drugovich and Hugh Barter into its fold for the Berlin Rookie Test with eyes on familiarising new drivers with the demands of Formula E and the GEN3 as well as sampling some of the best upcoming talent around. After one day of running, the duo left the paddock on Monday having made a real impression.
The team put almost 200 laps on the board and Drugovic's 1m05.509s was inside the quickest Julius Baer Pole Position effort of the SABIC Berlin E-Prix weekend and just two tenths of a second off the best time set in practice by Maximilian Guenther - in the same car.
“My first test was really good,” said the 22-year-old, who since winning F2 last season, has spent extensive time testing with Aston Martin in Formula 1.
“We got through the whole testing program; I did a lot of laps, and I enjoyed every second of being on track.
“The car was really fun to drive, and I was positively surprised by it. As a driver, it’s important for me to enjoy what I’m driving and the GEN3 definitely exceeded my expectations.
“The brakes are very different to anything I’ve used before – you have to brake in a different way and use them in a different way which took some getting used to but, at the end of the day, it’s just a car with four wheels, and you always learn to get used to differences and adapt with time.”
After arriving in the paddock on Saturday morning, Drugovic explained that he settled into Maserati MSG Racing quickly.
“I’m on the sidelines this season, and I want to race again, but there are a lot of different categories that interest me,” he commented. “The more I do this season, the better prepared I’ll be for whatever comes next.
“The team was very welcoming, and I felt at home. The organisation is much bigger than any Formula 2 team I’ve worked with and while there were a lot of different people involved at different levels, it was still close and personal and it felt like a supportive environment. That was very important to me, being in new surroundings with new people.”
Felipe’s session-topping speed, alongside his invaluable insight and perspective, will play a key role in the development of our Maserati Tipo Folgore for the remainder of the season - says the team.
“Formula E is a unique animal,” added the Brazilian. "Comparing it to any other category is like comparing running to riding a bike – they’re completely different.
“The best part of today was topping the session, and I hope my work will help the team move forwards this season.”