|2019 Rookie Test|
The Circuit Moulay El Hassan.
|Date||13 January 2019|
|Location||Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech, Morocco|
|Lap length||2.971 km (1.846 mi)|
2018 Ad Diriyah Test
2019 Mexico City Test
The 2019 Rookie Test, otherwise known as the 2019 Marrakech Test, was the second of three in-season tests staged as part of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, held at the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech, Morocco on the 13 January 2019. The Rookie Test, conducted the day after the 2019 Marrakech E-Prix, saw all eleven FE teams prepare their cars for twenty-two "rookie" drivers, whom have never raced in the FE Championship, or had held an E-Licence.
Nico Müller would emerge from the test as the fastest driver, piloting the #66 Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler to a 1:17.074, the quickest lap of the entire race weekend. He was also one-shy of setting the most laps during the test, an honour that would instead by taken by Jamie Green in the sister #11 Audi.
As with the 2018 visit to the Moroccan capital of Marrakech, the FIA and Formula E would host a Rookie Test, designed to give more drivers a taste of FE. As such, all eleven FE teams were restricted in whom could drive their cars during the six hour test session, although their 2018/19 Championship drivers were allowed to act as driver coaches. Indeed, only drivers who had never competed in an E-Prix were allowed to take part, with most teams expected to field their reserve drivers during the test.
The first team to officially announce their drivers for the test would be BMW i Andretti Motorsport, who called upon factory DTM duo Marco Wittmann and Bruno Spengler. In terms of FE experience it was the veteran Spengler whom had more seat time to call upon, having been listed as BMW's reserve driver for the season, and took part in the 2018 edition of the test with their partners Andretti. For Wittmann, meanwhile, it would be his first taste of an FE car barring some planned simulator experience, and his first time publicly driving a single seater since he tested a Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One car in June 2015.
Another team to field a pair of drivers with familiar faces from the DTM would be Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, who were to hand Jamie Green and Nico Müller their set of e-tron FE04s for the day. For Müller it would be business as usual, the Swiss racer having been registered as the team's test and reserve driver since the start of the season. For Green, meanwhile, it would be his first taste of an FE car, and mark his first public drive in a single seater since his triumphant, title winning, campaign in the Formula 3 EuroSeries in 2004.
Audi's customers Envision Virgin Racing, meanwhile, would run ex-Audi WEC factory driver Benoît Tréluyer, as well as the German firm's former reserve Nyck de Vries. Elsewhere Nissan e.Dams were set to run two of the Japanese manufacturer's factory drivers, handing Jann Mardenborough and Mitsunori Takaboshi their first public FE drives. Pietro Fittipaldi, meanwhile, was announced as one of Jaguar Racing's testers, having driven for them during the 2018 Rookie Test, while Harry Tincknell was given their second seat having last tested for the team in 2016.
Over at Mahindra Racing there would be a Formula One refugee taking over one of their cars, with ex-Williams racer Sergey Sirotkin getting his first run in an FE car, partnering their development driver Sam Dejonghe. DS Techeetah, meanwhile, were set to run Tatiana Caldéron for the second test in succession, joined by James Rossiter whom tested for them in the previous Rookie Test. Another female racer to get a test in an FE car would be Jamie Chadwick, who would run for the NIO Formula E Team for the second test in succession with hopes of actually getting some time on track. Chadwick was initially announced as the team's only drive, although NIO retroactively added F3 racer Jake Hughes to their line-up on the morning of the test.
The two Venturi supplied teams would announce their driver pairings on the same day, with several familiar names among them, including two reserve/simulator drivers. For the factory Venturi squad it would be Arthur Leclerc, the brother of F1 star Charles, and ex-GP2/F2 racer Norman Nato who took their seats, the pair getting their first public run-outs in an FE car at the test. Over at customers HWA Racelab, meanwhile, there would be drives for regular tester Daniel Juncadella, and FE virgin Raffaele Marciello, who had recently quit single seaters for a career in GT racing.
GEOX DRAGON, meanwhile, would opt to field their reserve driver Antonio Fuoco after a promising run for the Italian racer during the Valencia Test. They would subsequently register Felipe Nasr as their second driver, although contractual wranglings regarding the Brazilian racer's participation would deny him from taking part in the opening session.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2019 Rookie Test across each day:
21 of the 22 nominated drivers would be ready to take the start of the session, with only Felipe Nasr unable to climb into his GEOX DRAGON cockpit, for his representatives were still negotiating with the team. Conditions, meanwhile, would be perfect for running as the session got underway at 9:30 local time, with no threat of rain or excessive heat to disrupt the running. If anything the temperatures were on the cooler side for the tyres, although this would improve throughout the day.
The morning session would see Nico Müller emerge as the fastest driver in the field, the Swiss ace piloting the #66 Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler to a 1:17.532, on a morning spent focusing on outright pace. A different approach was taken by his teammate Jamie Green, with the Brit ending the session mid-table having focused on race pace instead. Tatiana Caldéron was another standout name, placing second in the DS Techeetah, while Bruno Spengler made it three different manufacturers in the top three in the #27 BMW Andretti.
It proved to be a surprisingly trouble free morning in terms of reliability, with no technical issues causing disruption. Furthermore there would not be any on-track incidents or accidents to meddle with the schedule, meaning everyone was able to record 20 or more laps worth of running. Come the end of the session it was the aforementioned Green who had covered the greatest distance, recording 54 laps in three hours.
The afternoon session saw temperatures climb further into the ideal operating window for the Michelin tyres, meaning there would be a near-universal improvement in times. Indeed, it was Müller who once again emerged with the best effort of the session, claiming a new de-facto circuit record for FE, a 1:17.054. That put the Swiss ace a tenth clear of James Rossiter in second, the Brit using temporary testing teammate Caldéron's #36 car, after the Colombian racer was unable to run in the afternoon.
Caldéron's effort from the morning would still be strong enough to see her end the day in sixth, while the lone GEOX DRAGON of Antonio Fuoco would jump into the top three, claiming a 1:17.338. Rossiter was then classified in fourth in the #25 car, while Nyck de Vries powered a second Audi into the top five, albeit one running in the colours of Envision Virgin Racing. Indeed, de Vries looked set to improve on his 1:17.560, only for damage on the #2 car to end his running before the end of the session.
Elsewhere, Green would have a session ending accident late in the day, the #11 Audi sliding into the barriers in the closing minutes as the Brit tried a late quali-lap. Otherwise it would be a trouble free day across the board, with Green still covering enough distance to top the distance table with 99 laps. Müller was next on that table with 98, while Benoît Tréluyer was the third most travelled driver in his #4 Virgin-Audi, meaning the German marque's quartet of e-tron FE04s had completed 348 laps around Marrakech.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2019 Rookie Test:
|2019 Rookie Test Times|
|1st||66||Nico Müller||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||98||1:17.532||1:17.074||—|
|2nd||25*||James Rossiter||DS Techeetah||87||1:18.176||1:17.189*||+0.115s|
|3rd||7||Antonio Fuoco||GEOX DRAGON||89||1:19.367||1:17.338||+0.264s|
|4th||2||Nyck de Vries||Envision Virgin Racing||54||1:20.289||1:17.560||+0.486s|
|5th||23||Jann Mardenborough||Nissan e.Dams||67||1:19.443||1:17.672||+0.598s|
|6th||36||Tatiana Caldéron||DS Techeetah||41||1:17.674||—||+0.600s|
|7th||27||Bruno Spengler||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||76||1:17.747||1:17.735||+0.661s|
|8th||17||Raffaele Marciello||HWA Racelab||85||1:20.330||1:17.763||+0.689s|
|9th||19||Arthur Leclerc||Venturi Formula E Team||73||1:22.403||1:17.792||+0.718s|
|10th||48||Norman Nato||Venturi Formula E Team||69||1:23.395||1:18.059||+0.985s|
|11th||64||Sergey Sirotkin||Mahindra Racing||57||1:18.754||1:18.097||+1.023s|
|12th||94||Sam Dejonghe||Mahindra Racing||58||1:18.643||1:18.155||+1.081s|
|13th||22||Mitsunori Takaboshi||Nissan e.Dams||58||1:21.252||1:18.229||+1.155s|
|14th||11||Jamie Green||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||99||1:19.039||1:18.250||+1.176s|
|15th||3||Pietro Fittipaldi||Jaguar Racing||79||1:18.403||1:19.160||+1.329s|
|16th||5||Daniel Juncadella||HWA Racelab||77||1:18.574||1:18.555||+1.481s|
|17th||20||Harry Tincknell||Jaguar Racing||69||1:19.020||1:18.623||+1.549s|
|18th||28||Marco Wittmann||BMW i Andretti Motorsport||89||1:18.768||1:18.727||+1.653s|
|19th||8||Jake Hughes||NIO Formula E Team||74||1:19.631||1:23.329||+2.557s|
|20th||4||Benoît Tréluyer||Envision Virgin Racing||97||1:21.187||1:21.181||+4.107s|
|21st||16||Jamie Chadwick||NIO Formula E Team||71||1:22.196||1:24.267||+5.122s|
|NC†||6||Felipe Nasr||GEOX DRAGON||0||—|
- * Rossiter used the #36 car during the second session as well as the #25.
- † Nasr did not set a time.
Images and Videos:
- Sam Smith, 'Mexico City to Host Third In-Season Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 23/11/2018), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/mexico-city-to-host-third-in-season-test/, (Accessed 22/11/2018)
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- Sam Smith, 'Wittmann to Test BMW Formula E Car', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 17/12/2018), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/wittmann-to-test-bmw-formula-e-car/, (Accessed 17/12/2018)
- 'DTM champion Wittmann earns Toro Rosso test', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 20/10/2014), https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2014/10/DTM-champion-Wittmann-earns-Toro-Rosso-test.html, (Accessed 29/12/2018)
- Sam Smith, 'Green to Test for Audi in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC., 30/12/2018), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/green-to-test-for-audi-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 30/12/2018)
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Treluyer, de Vries join Virgin for Morocco FE test', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 07/01/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/treluyer-de-vries-virgin-marrakesh-test/4320159/, (Accessed 07/01/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'Fittipaldi to Test Jaguar in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC., 31/12/2018), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/fittipaldi-to-test-jaguar-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 31/12/2018)
- Sam Smith, 'Tincknell Joins Fittipaldi at Jaguar for Marrakesh Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC., 04/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/tincknell-joins-fittipaldi-at-jaguar-for-marrakesh-test/, (Accessed 04/01/2019)
- Scott Mitchell; Oleg Karpov, 'Sirotkin handed Formula E test outing by Mahindra', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/01/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/sirotkin-mahindra-marrakesh-test/4318947/, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'Calderon Set for Marrakesh Test With DS Techeetah', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 02/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/calderon-set-for-marrakesh-test-with-ds-techeetah/, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
- Daniel Lloyd, 'Chadwick Gets Second NIO Test Opportunity in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 03/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/chadwick-gets-second-nio-test-opportunity/, (Accessed 03/01/2019)
- 'Full rookie line up revealed ahead of Marrakesh test', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/rookie-test-line-up-marrakesh, (Accessed 07/01/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'Leclerc Joins Nato at Venturi for Rookie Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 05/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/leclerc-joins-nato-at-venturi-for-rookie-test/, (Accessed 06/01/2019)
- Jake Kilshaw, 'HWA Confirms Marciello for Marrakesh Rookie Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 05/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/hwa-confirms-marciello-for-marrakesh-rookie-test/, (Accessed 06/01/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'Nasr Marrakesh Test Run in Doubt', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 13/01/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/nasr-marrakesh-test-run-in-doubt/, (Accessed 13/01/2019)
- 'Marrakesh Rookie Testing: Results Booklet', fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/01/2019), http://fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com/Results/04_2018-19/04_Marrakesh%20Rookie%20Testing/96_ABB%20FIA%20Formula%20E%20Championship/66_Marrakesh%20Rookie%20Test%20Booklet.pdf, (Accessed 13/01/2019)