Line-up revealed for Rome Rookie Free Practice

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Line-up revealed for Rome Rookie Free Practice

The full line-up for the Rookie Free Practice session ahead of the Hankook Rome E-Prix double-header on 15 & 16 July has been revealed.


The official Season 9 Rookie Test took place on Monday 24 April after the double-header Rounds 7 & 8 race weekend in Berlin, and we saw a host of new drivers sample Formula E and the GEN3 for the very first time. Some of those race rookies will be back, no doubt, and we'll see some new faces altogether take on the new Rookie Free Practice between 14:30 and 15:00 on Friday 14 July, ahead of the Rome double-header.

Teams can field someone who's sampled Formula E machinery before but they must not be drivers included on the Season 9 Entry List and they must not have competed in a Formula E race in their career before. The idea is to give the best young talent a pathway to race at the very top of the motorsport ladder with a taste of Formula E and the opportunity to impress prospective teams in the world's leading electric race series.


Felipe Drugovich has been confirmed at Maserati MSG Racing. The young Brazilian, who topped the timesheets during the Berlin Rookie Test earlier this year, will now get a second chance to impress during Rome’s Rookie Free Practice session. The opportunity, which is exclusively for rookie drivers, will see some of motorsport’s brightest talents navigate the iconic Italian street circuit and find their feet in the electric machinery.

Avalanche Andretti, meanwhile, have confirmed that Zane Maloney will once again get behind the wheel of their GEN3 car. NEOM McLaren confirmed Charlie Eastwood for their seat in Rome while Mahindra Racing picked Jehan Daruvala to return in their car - once again supplementing his Reserve Driver role with the team. Yifei Ye will swap his Jota FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar for the TAG Heuer Porsche 99X Electric.

South African Sheldon van der Linde, the reigning DTM champion and brother of Kelvin who raced for ABT CUPRA in Diriyah and Hyderabad, stepping in after Robin Frijns injury - will jump in at Jaguar TCS Racing. He topped the morning running in the Berlin Rookie Test earlier this year.

Multiple Formula 2 race-winner Luca Ghiotto returns at Nissan after his Berlin outing. The Italian will take to Rome, with the former GP3 Series runner-up also confirmed as the team's simulator driver. The 28-year-old Italian has been working in the sim since the start of the current Formula E season and has a strong racing CV, including six wins in F2.

Yann Ehrlacher will make his Formula E bow with DS PENSKE in Rome. The 27-year old Frenchman was the 2020 FIA World Touring Car champion and followed that up with a second title a year later, successfully defending his crown.

Envision Racing are set to hand Jack Aitken a seat again after his Berlin effort. Aitken, 27, completed 19 laps during his first run-out in Berlin, assisting the team as they continued to gather data and insights into the new GEN3 car.

NIO 333 have once again selected former Formula 1 driver Danil Kvyat. Kvyat raced in F1 as part of the Red Bull stable for six years between 2014 and 2020 at Scuderia Toro Rosso/Alpha Tauri and Red Bull Racing, securing three podium finishes. Since then, he has made three outings in the NASCAR Cup Series last year, and sits second in the FIA World Endurance Championship's LMP2 category this season. In Berlin, he said a Formula E drive would be high on his list of priorities.

Frenchman and reigning ETCR champion Adrien Tambay completes the line-up for ABT CUPRA. 

Why do drivers take part?

For those curious about electric racing and competing in the world's leading electric racing championship, it 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.