Fittipaldi and Van der Linde get Jaguar Berlin Rookie Test opportunity

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Fittipaldi and Van der Linde get Jaguar Berlin Rookie Test opportunity

Jaguar TCS Racing will be welcoming back Sheldon van der Linde for the Berlin Rookie Test on 13 May, alongside new debutant Enzo Fittipaldi.


Currently at the top of the Teams’ World Championship standings, Jaguar TCS Racing have announced who will be piloting their two cars for the mandatory Berlin Rookie Test next week. 

The team will be bringing back Sheldon van der Linde, who represented the Jaguar squad during last season’s Berlin test as well as last month in Misano during Rookie Free Practice. The South African, who is the younger brother of ABT CUPRA driver Kelvin van der Linde, showed some impressive pace and went fastest in the opening session of the Berlin test last year. 

FEATURE: The biggest motorsport stars that have taken part in Formula E rookie tests

As well as being the 2022 DTM Champion, van de Linde also won the South Africa Polo Cup Championship and Volkswagen Cup South Africa during his younger career. He was also previously the Test and Reserve driver for BMW i Andretti Motorsport during the seventh Formula E season before joining Jaguar as their Test Driver from Season 9. The now 24-year-old will also celebrate his birthday on the 13 May test day!


“I’m very excited to get back for my fourth test with the Jaguar TCS Racing team within one year – I feel a bit of a veteran at these rookie tests by now,” Sheldon van der Linde said ahead of the testing opportunity. “Formula E is a really exciting championship to be racing in, one I hope to be competing in in the future, so hopefully this is a stepping stone to that opportunity."

Alongside him will be the Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, who will get behind the wheel of the Jaguar I-TYPE 6 for the first time. Fittipaldi, who comes from a long line of motorsport legends, has already had an impressive start to his 2024 racing season. The 22-year-old won the FIA Formula 2 Feature race in Jeddah with Van Amersfoort Racing, as well as picking up a podium in the Sprint race that same weekend. 

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“This will be my first time driving a Formula E race car and I am really looking forward to the opportunity,” Fittipaldi said about the Jaguar chance. “I’ve spent some time in the simulator at the team’s headquarters in Kidlington to give myself the best chance to have a successful test in Berlin. The rookie test is a great opportunity for young drivers to try an all-electric motorsport category and I can’t wait to get some experience.” 


Enzo will also be keeping it in the family, as his brother Pietro Fittipaldi has taken part in the Formula E Rookie Test twice, getting experience at the wheel of electric race cars in 2018 and 2019 with two different teams with one being Jaguar!

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.