F1 Academy Champion Marta Garcia debriefs her Formula E Rookie Test debut

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F1 Academy Champion Marta Garcia debriefs her Formula E Rookie Test debut

García was given the special opportunity with the ERT Formula E team earlier this week.


Marta García made headlines around the world last year when she was crowned the inaugural F1 Academy champion. Now she’s behind the wheel of a very different type of single-seater: Formula E’s GEN3. 

Taking part in the annual Rookie Test with the Electric Racing Technologies (ERT) team, the 23-year-old came straight from racing in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine with the Iron Dame to Berlin for the unique experience. 

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Getting to grips with the car and the software, she finished the day’s test just behind her rookie teammate Mikel Azcona who has experience driving the GEN3 car in last year’s Berlin test and earlier this year during Rookie Free Practice in Misano. 

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“I'm super-thankful to be part of the test here in Berlin in Formula E, it's a great opportunity for me to show what I can do and how I work,” García said after her day of testing with ERT came to an end. 

“I came straight from a race weekend at Hockenheim and then jumped into this car, and it's a big difference, but as a driver you just need to be able to adapt. First, the brakes are very different, and when you go on the power in this car you can feel the electric power coming in, it's quite surprising for the first laps as you get used to it.

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“It requires a very different way of driving and it's also quite different aerodynamically to what I'm used to. There's a lot of information on its systems to retain as well, and also to work with energy saving, as it's not just about racing in this car but to do everything you're asked to do.

“I'm very happy with how the test went, it was a very positive experience and hopefully I can be here again in a Formula E test.”


García was also present in Monaco for Round 8, where she was able to have a seat fitting and become familiar with the Formula E championship. 

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“I really liked working with the ERT Formula E Team and its engineers, it's a really professional team.”

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.