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Formula E Announce Drivers and Rookies Participating in Valencia Pre-Season Testing For Season Ten

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

Pre-season testing kicks off in less than a week's time; Image Credits - Formula E

The wait is finally over! Formula E and the FIA have confirmed the full driver line-ups for Season Ten of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, and rookies taking part in the upcoming pre-season test at Valencia, ahead of the tenth season of the electric racing series.

Teams will be going into the second season of Formula E's successful GEN3 era, following a season that proved to be exhilarating, with triple-digit overtakes across many weekends, and speed records shattered around the globe.

The teams, now accustomed to the new Gen3 machinery, will be looking to push the limits of the Gen3 cars, with experience and a strong understanding of the Formula E car and its working.

And for the first time, rookie drivers will also be taking part in the pre-season testing ahead of the upcoming season of Formula E. In a bid to develop Formula E as a hotbed for young drivers to hone their skills, all teams have been asked to nominate a young driver who has never driven a Gen3 Formula E car before.

Victor Martins is one of the rookies fielded by Nissan for the test; Image Credits - Nissan Formula E Team

The rookie drivers will be allowed to compete in any of the six sessions across the week, excluding those of race simulations. The rookie drivers nominated by the teams are:

Envision Racing - Jack Aitken

Jaguar TCS Racing - Sheldon van der Linde

Avalanche Andretti - Zane Maloney

TAG Heuer Porsche Racing - Gabriela Jílková

DS Penske - Robert Shwartzmann

Maserati MSG Racing - Yann Ehrlacher

Nissan Formula E Team - Luca Ghiotto, Victor Martins

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team - Taylor Barnard

NIO 333 Racing - Mikel Azcona Troyas

Mahindra Racing - Jordan King

ABT Cupra Formula E Team - Tim Tramnitz, Adrien Tambay

A quick look at the rookies would give you an idea of the vast motor racing backgrounds they possess.

Aitken made a super-sub appearance for Williams in that famous Formula One race — the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, when George Russell was called up by Mercedes to replace the COVID-affected Lewis Hamilton.

Robert Shwartzmann last competed in Formula 2 back in 2021, and is currently Ferrari's reserve driver in Formula One, and takes part in the mandatory FP1 sessions for the Rosso Corsa.

Another one of Shwartzmann's compatriots, Luca Ghiotto will be driving for the Nissan Formula E Team in pre-season testing, alongside current Formula 2 racer Victor Martins. Jordan King rounds out the quartet of former Formula 2 racers testing their respective machinery around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Formula 2 racers Victor Martins and Zane Maloney will be taking the wheels of the Nissan and Avalanche Andretti machinery during the tests, respectively, Martins has shown an impressive turn of pace throughout the season for ART, as he sits fifth in the championship. Maloney rounds out the top ten of the Formula 2 standings in 2023, driving for Rodin Carlin.

Barnard's stellar F3 season earned him a call-up at McLaren's Formula E team; Image Credits - McLaren

Taylor Barnard's stellar Formula 3 season earlier this year fetched him a spot at the Formula E rookie test, driving for sophomores NEOM McLaren.

And finally, the list of established names will be rounded out by reigning DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde, who will be driving for 2023's runners-up Jaguar TCS Racing.

A few lesser-known young talents have been listed down as rookie drivers for the test too. Adrien Tambay, son of former Formula One driver, the late Patrick Tambay, has been nominated for the test, alongside German Formula 4 racer, and Red Bull Junior Driver, Tim Tramnitz.

Gabriela Jílková is another highly-anticipated name set to make her electric racing debut. One of Czech Republic's rising talents, she is a regular on the Sports Car Racing scene, and became a race winner in the Prototype Cup in only her third race, in the LMP3 class. She will be driving for TAG Heuer Porsche in the test.

Gabriela Jilkova, one of Czech Republic's emerging talents; Image Credits - Formula E

Mikel Azcona Troycas is another relatively lesser-heard name, the Spaniard having won the Europe Touring Car Championship twice, in 2018 and 2021 . He went on to win the World Touring Car Championship a year after, in 2022, driving for Hyundai Motorsport. He will be taking the wheel of the NIO 333 car at Valencia.

Troycas's compatriot in touring cars, Yann Ehrlacher will also be driving in the pre-season test, for Maserati MSG Racing. Ehrlacher won the World Touring Car Championship in 2020, and defended his title in 2021, both won driving for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co.

Do keep an eye for these names on the leaderboard, as the test gives them a look-in, and to witness how they fare against regular, full-time Formula E racers across the grid.

Changes in Line-ups for Season Ten

Coming back to the regular line-ups for Season Ten, a late twist in the tale led to another round of musical chairs, and driver moves around the paddock. Only three teams have retained the same driver line-ups from Season Nine — TAG Heuer Porsche, NIO 333 Racing, and DS Penske.

The silly season kicked off with Robin Frijns returning to former employers Envision Racing, which then saw Nick Cassidy depart the team in green, and forge a formidable alliance with fellow Kiwi Mitch Evans at Jaguar TCS Racing.

This meant the veteran Sam Bird left Jaguar, and moved house to 2023's debutants, NEOM McLaren, forming a strong line-up with flourishing rookie Jake Hughes.

Elsewhere, Andre Lotterer called it a day, after a rough season for Avalanche Andretti, which paved the way for a surprise move for Nissan racer Norman Nato, after a series of strong results for the Japanese team in 2023. Nato's move paved the way for Oliver Rowland's return to Nissan, alongside rookie sensation Sacha Fenestraz.

Finally, a late driver market twist saw Edoardo Mortara depart Maserati MSG Racing, after six seasons with the team during various guises, and make his way to Mahindra Racing, joining forces with Nyck de Vries, the Dutchman ousted from AlphaTauri after only ten races with the team.

Another driver returning to familiar shores was the veteran Lucas Di Grassi, returning to the ABT set up, after two seasons at Rokit Venturi (now Maserati) and Mahindra Racing.

Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E, spoke on the importance of rookie drivers in the pre-season test:

We are excited to give the very best emerging racing talent the chance to show why they deserve a seat in the championship in the future – by going up against the elite drivers and world champions in Formula E today.

Pre-season testing kicks off at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, on Tuesday, October 24th, and ends on Friday, October 26th, with 25th October being a day off for the teams. 22 drivers and 11 teams will be looking to rack up mileage, and acquaint themselves with their rides for the upcoming Formula E season, and look to navigate the test without any hiccups.


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