Saucy and Ugochukwu set for Rookie Test outing with NEOM McLaren

Join Formula E

Sign in or create your Formula E account

It's quick, easy and free to sign up

You'll get access to:

  • Helmet

    News. Analysis. Exclusive Features

  • Schedule

    Priority Booking. Early Bird Pricing

  • Trophy

    Competitions. Discounts. Experiences

  • Podium

    Predict. Vote. Win.


You will need to sign in or create a Formula E account.

Saucy and Ugochukwu set for Rookie Test outing with NEOM McLaren

NEOM McLaren announces Ugo Ugochukwu and Grégoire Saucy for the Berlin Rookie Test at Tempelhof, 13 May.


Ugochukwu, from New York City, US, has had an impressive junior career to date and is currently a member of the McLaren Driver Development programme, having initially signed with the team in 2021. In his short career, he’s sealed the FIA OK-Junior European Karting Championship title, amongst other karting achievements. Moving up to single seaters, he finished his rookie season third overall and winning the Rookie Trophy, and his second season as Italian Formula 4 Vice Champion and Euro 4 Champion, with a total of 11 wins and 44 podiums to his name.

“I’m looking forward to the Berlin Rookie Test in May with the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team," said the 17-year-old. "It’s an amazing opportunity to take the Nissan e-4ORCE 04 to track and I’m grateful to be given this chance through the McLaren Driver Development programme.

"I'm excited to learn and develop my driving further with a new category of car. I'll be working closely with the great team at Bicester and MTC in the build-up, getting prepared for the test and making sure I'm as prepared as possible to help the team.”

This season, he is competing in the Formula Regional European Championship and at selected rounds of the GB3 Championship, whilst continuing his progression with the McLaren Driver Development programme, where he will be supported in his journey from junior motorsport to professional racing driver, say McLaren. Ugochukwu has already spent time in the Formula E simulator at the McLaren Technology Centre as part of his current role.

Grégoire Saucy, from Switzerland, began racing on his family kart track at three years old and quickly established himself as a talent, becoming the youngest licensed competitor at just seven years old. His early career saw him regularly on the podium throughout karting championships and in 2015 he progressed to single seaters, claiming his first title in the Formula Regional Championship in 2021. He competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship with United Autosports, in partnership with McLaren Motorsport.

“I’m really excited to start this new challenge," says 24-year-old Saucy. "It will be my first time in a Formula E car. I’ve been driving single seater cars up until last year, before changing direction for this season, competing in GT3 and LMP2, so it will be nice to step into a single seater again. I want to thank the NEOM McLaren team for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to discovering Formula E first hand. See you in Berlin.”

Ian James, Team Principal, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team & Managing Director, NEOM McLaren Electric Racing, said: “It’s great to see that Formula E is continuing to provide opportunities for talented drivers to show what they are capable of, by hosting another official rookie test this season. It is also a good way for us as teams to evaluate these drivers in the current GEN3 machinery.

“I’m especially excited about our line-up for this test; both Ugo and Grégoire have stood out in the categories they’ve competed in to date. I look forward to seeing them hit the track in Berlin.”


What classifies as a rookie?

To be able to take part in the session, drivers must hold either a full E-Licence or at the least a Free Practice only E-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 session if you’ve already got race experience from a previous E-Prix, for example.

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.

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. Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes, Andretti's Norman Nato and ERT's Sergio Sette Camara all qualified as rookies last time out and are now some of the brightest stars on the grid.