Felipe Drugovich set the pace in Formula E Rookie Test ahead of Rome EPrix with Sheldon van der Linde and Luca Ghiotto in P2 and P3.
Eleven of motorsport’s finest talents got their chance to impress during a special 30-minute Rookie Free Practice ahead of the Rome E-Prix weekend. The session showcased plenty of promising talent, with Maserati MSG Racing’s Felipe Drugovich topping the timesheets with a time of 1m43.736s.
Reigning Formula 2 champion Drugovich also went fastest during the Berlin Rookie Test earlier this season, and during today’s session finished an impressive three-tenths quicker than the second-placed Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar TCS Racing). Luca Ghiotto (Nissan) was able to slot into third at the chequered flag, a great result for the Italian at his home track.
Several of those taking part have already got their hands on the GEN3 machinery, participating in the official Rookie Test earlier this season in Berlin. However, there are a few new faces including the likes of Yann Ehrlacher with DS PENSKE, a multiple FIA WTCR Champion. Despite his lack of experience, the Frenchman finished in fifth with a time of 1m44.347s.
There was pressure on these newbies, as they took to the track in the exact machinery that their more experienced teammates will be driving in Free Practice 1 in only a matter of hours. Temperatures were also at an extreme high, as the drivers battled 33°C air temperatures and humidity of 57%.
A brief stop on track for TAG Heuer Porsche’s Yifei Ye brought out a yellow flag, as the driver came to a halt at Turn 7. The Chinese racer was piloting Antonio Felix da Costa’s car for the 30-minute session, someone he knows well as they both took part in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours as teammates in the #38 Porsche 963. NIO 333’s Daniil Kvyat also made the same mistake with just two minutes of the session left to go, locking up the tyres and going straight on.
A small issue at ABT CUPRA and Mahindra Racing severely impacted both Jehan Daruvala and Adrien Tambay’s time on the track. Both respective drivers got a lap in at the start, but its been indicated that the blip will be fixed in time for FP1.
Although lots of these drivers will be wanting to push, and show these Formula E teams what they’re made of, many drivers have been instructed to help their team with energy based runs. Any extra data that can be collected will be of use to the teams for the rest of their weekend, and help with essential energy management.