Four more names has been added to the FIA Formula E Championship’s rookie test in Marrakesh with Mitsunori Takaboshi, Arthur Leclerc, Raffaele Marciello and Dani Juncadella joining in.
The post Marrakesh ePrix Formula E rookie test list has expanded to 15 drivers now with the announcement from Nissan, Venturi and HWA Racelab as Takaboshi, Leclerc, Marciello and Juncadella gets the run on January 13.
While it will be the second time for Juncadella, who is also a test and development driver for HWA Racelab, the team will give GT racer Marciello his first go in a Formula E car. For Leclerc, who is in Venturi’s development scheme, it is second time in the car.
The Monegasque is the brother of Ferrari F1 driver Charles and had his first single-seater season in French F4 series where he finished fifth overall. Like Juncadella and Leclerc, it will also be Takaboshi’s second time in the car.
“This will be my first outing in a Formula E car and I will also be driving for HWA for the first time,” said Marciello. I am really looking forward to it. I will try to help the team as much as possible and to learn as much as I can during the test.
“I can hardly wait to get in the car.” The Italian raced full-time in single-seater until 2016 after which he moved to sportscar racing. HWA team principal Ulrich Fritz added: “We are pleased to announce Raffaele and Daniel as our test drivers for Marrakesh.
“Raffaele has been closely associated with our team for a long time. In recent years, he has shown his class in GT racing. Prior to that, he was European Formula 3 champion with one of our engines in 2013.
“With his experience, I am confident that he will provide us with valuable input at the test. The same obviously goes for our official test and development driver, Dani.”
Meanwhile, Leclerc said: “I’m honoured to be selected by Venturi and as a Monegasque, it’s particularly special for me. I will dedicate myself completely to the team in their quest to optimise the Venturi VFE-05.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to drive this outstanding car again. Formula E is a pioneering, inventive and young championship, and one in which I am very keen to play an active part.
“I’m fortunate to be involved in it at such an early stage in my career and I want to thank Gildo [Pastor, Venturi president] and Susie [Wolff, team principal] for believing in me.” As known, Norman Nato will drive the other Venturi car.
UPDATE: Nissan has added its simulator driver Jann Mardenborough in its rookie line-up alongside Takaboshi while BMW Andretti has confirmed Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann as its drivers for the test.
Among the two DTM drivers, Spengler has had his chance in a Formula E car before while Wittmann will make his debut. “Up to now, I have only followed Formula E from afar. I am fascinated to see how it feels to drive a car like the BMW iFE.18,” he said.
“I think the new Formula E cars are very appealing to us drivers. I am very much looking forward to it and am excited to see how much I enjoy it. My heart beats for the DTM, but I think it is important to keep broadening your horizon. Fortunately, BMW Motorsport has a very diverse programme, which allows us to gain experience in many different cars.”
Rookie test line-up so far:
Mahindra: Sergey Sirotkin & Sam Dejonghe
Audi: Jamie Green
Venturi: Norman Nato & Arthur Leclerc
NIO: Jamie Chadwick
DS Techeetah: Tatiana Calderon & James Rossiter
Jaguar: Pietro Fittipaldi & Harry Tincknell
HWA Racelab: Dani Juncadella & Raffaele Marciello
Nissan: Mitsunori Takaboshi & Jann Mardenborough
BMW Andretti: Bruno Spengler & Marco Wittmann