|2018 Rookie Test|
The "permanent" Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech
|Date||14th January 2018|
|Location||Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech, Morocco|
|Lap length||2.971km (1.846mi)|
2017 Valencia Test
2018 Valencia Test
The 2018 Rookie Test is an upcoming test for the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship, set to be held at the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech, Morocco, on the 14th January 2018. The test, which will be staged the day after the 2018 Marrakech E-Prix, will be the first FE test held exclusively for "rookie" drivers, open to anyone who has not started an E-Prix.
Nico Müller managed to set the fastest time of the day during the second session, the Swiss racer ultimately breaking the circuit record with a 1:19.651. The morning session had seen Paul di Resta top the times for Jaguar Racing in a session that ran in cool, damp conditions. Elsewhere, Nyck de Vries would have a difficult afternoon, only completing seventeen laps for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, while Andrea Caldarelli had a particularly expensive accident in the #7 Dragon.
The first announcement of the Rookie Test for 2017/18 came amid the news of the power increase for the same season. The location of the Test was later revealed to be the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech, Morocco, after a vote held at the 2017 Valencia Test by the teams. The rules of the test were established along with the reveal of the location, with each team limited to two drivers, neither of whom can currently hold an e-Licence.
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler squad were the first to announce their driver line-up, fielding F2 front runner Nyck de Vries, and DTM racer Nico Müller. Both de Vries and Müller will sample an FE car for the first time in Morocco, with the former being scouted by Audi for a future factory drive. Defending Champion Lucas di Grassi was to stay behind after the E-Prix and act as driver coach for the pair.
Elsewhere, Mahindra Racing revealed that Daniel Juncadella, 2012 European Formula 3 champion and Mercedes DTM racer, and Belgian racer Sam Dejonghe would test for them in Marrakech, using a pair of cars each for the day. Of the pair Juncadella had the most experience, having tested for Mahindra in Valencia, while Dejonghe would make his debut in an FE car. Dejonghe's signing, whom had signed up to the team as a development and sim driver, was revealed alongside a series of deals between Mahindra and several Belgian technology firms.
Jaguar Racing were another team to announce their plans early, revealing Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of Formula One legend Emerson Fittipaldi, with the Brazilian hunting a promotion after winning the Formula V8 3.5 Championship in 2017. The British squad announced their official driver pairing after New Years Day, with Fittipaldi confirmed alongside ex-F1 racer Paul di Resta. Venturi were in a similar position, signing up seventeen year old Formula Renault NEC Champion Michael Benyahia without revealing their second driver. As it turned out, Venturi's second driver would also be a British DTM veteran, as they signed up Gary Paffett to try out the #5 car at the young age of 36.
Andretti Formula E were the next team to reveal one of their drivers, dragging in Indy Lights race winner Colton Herta from their sister team in the US. It was later confirmed that former DTM Champion Bruno Spengler would join the seventeen year old in Marrakech, the Canadian's first single-seater appearance since 2004. Elsewhere, Harry Tincknell announced his participation in the test, transferring his colours to NIO having previously tested for Jaguar in 2016. NIO later announced that WEC racer Alexandre Imperatori would join take up the second seat, having worked with the Anglo-Chinese effort in developing their EP9 road car.
Defending Champions Renault e.Dams revealed the first of their drivers on the 19th December, with Thai F2 racer Alexander Albon taking one of the two seats. Their second seat would be filled by Nissan factory driver Mitsunori Takaboshi, 2017 Japanese Formula 3 Champion. Renault's customer Techeetah, meanwhile, announced that they would field James Rossiter, whom had previously tested for Venturi, and Michelin's main FE tyre tester Frédéric Makowiecki, the Frenchman becoming latest Porsche factory driver to test an FE machine in a public test.
Over at Dragon Racing, Andrea Caldarelli was revealed as the first of their test drivers on the 20th December, the Italian set to make his first single-seater run since 2015 in Japanese Super Formula. Their second driver was confirmed three days later, as Mercedes backed Formula Three racer Maximilian Günther was signed up as the team's reserve for the rest of the season. However, their plans for the Marrakech E-Prix itself were put into doubt after the Christmas break, as second driver Neel Jani parted company with the team following the failed integration of Porsche engineers within the team.
DS Virgin Racing were among the last teams to announce either of their drivers, revealing that BMW junior driver Joel Eriksson would test for them in one of Alex Lynn's cars. Their second driver was the last to be revealed of any of the teams, with Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Giovinazzi getting a drive in the #2 car.
Below is a complete entry list for the full 2018 Rookie Test across each day:
It would be a relatively cool 10°C in Marrakech at the start of the Rookie Test, with Michael Benyahia heading out first to complete an early run on home soil. Most of the other drivers would complete an installation lap before getting on with things, although there was to be an early red flag before the end of the first hour. The cause proved to be Andrea Caldarelli in the Dragon, as the Italian slammed head-on into the barriers at turn one after running onto the dust.
After the Caldarelli carnage was cleared there would be another brief stop to proceedings, this time to remove a stray dog from the circuit, although the session was restarted within five minutes. Inbetween the two stoppages, Bruno Spengler had looked strong until his car shut down mid-lap, while Daniel Juncadella set the pace for Mahindra. The second stoppage allowed things to cool off in the pits for a short while, although as the midday break approached a light drizzle engulfed the circuit.
Shortly before the rain fall there would be a series of quick laps from across the field, with the resulting shuffle seeing Paul di Resta set the quickest time of the morning, a 1:22.343 for Jaguar. James Rossiter also got in a quick time, falling just under a tenth behind the Scotsman, while F3 racers Joel Eriksson, Maximilian Günther and Antonio Giovinazzi completed the top five. Elsewhere there were troubles for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler as Nyck de Vries only left the pits twice in the morning, while both NIO Formula E Team testers Alexandre Imperatori and Harry Tincknell spent long periods in the garage.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2018 Rookie Test:
|2018 Rookie Test Session One Times|
|1st||20||Paul di Resta||Jaguar Racing||21||1:22.343||—|
|3rd||36||Joel Eriksson||DS Virgin Racing||19||1:22.551||+0.208s|
|4th||6||Maximilian Günther||Dragon Racing||16||1:22.599||+0.256s|
|5th||2||Antonio Giovinazzi||DS Virgin Racing||19||1:22.782||+0.439s|
|6th||3||Pietro Fittipaldi||Jaguar Racing||26||1:22.791||+0.448s|
|7th||9||Alexander Albon||Renault e.Dams||28||1:22.834||+0.491s|
|8th||19||Daniel Juncadella||Mahindra Racing||34||1:22.985||+0.642s|
|9th||27||Bruno Spengler||Andretti Formula E||36||1:22.987||+0.644s|
|10th||8||Mitsunori Takaboshi||Renault e.Dams||33||1:23.052||+0.709s|
|11th||68||Harry Tincknell||NIO Formula E Team||15||1:23.076||+0.733s|
|13th||66||Nico Müller||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||46||1:23.136||+0.793s|
|14th||28||Colton Herta||Andretti Formula E||40||1:23.355||+1.012s|
|15th||7||Andrea Caldarelli||Dragon Racing||14||1:23.492||+1.149s|
|16th||23||Sam Dejonghe||Mahindra Racing||24||1:23.580||+1.237s|
|17th||4||Gary Paffett||Venturi Formula E Team||33||1:24.216||+1.873s|
|18th||16||Alexandre Imperatori||NIO Formula E Team||9||1:24.581||+2.238s|
|19th||5||Michael Benyahia||Venturi Formula E Team||33||1:25.202||+2.859s|
|20th||1||Nyck de Vries||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||2||—|
Nico Müller would dominate the second session of the test, going out early after the lunch break to beat Paul di Resta's morning effort inside the first half an hour. The Swiss racer would remain near the top of the standings throughout the afternoon as temperatures climbed, with Maximilian Günther the next man to top the charts. However, while Müller was enjoying his time on circuit, the sister cars of Nyck de Vries stubbornly remained in the garage with its morning issues.
Ultimately the pace would continue to rise as the track cleaned up, allowing Pietro Fittipaldi and James Rossiter to exchange fastest times, before Müller headed back out in the closing stages. The result was a crushing lap by the Swiss racer, with the #66 Audi lapping the circuit in 1:19.651. This was not only a tenth faster than the circuit record, set by the #66 car's usual occupant Daniel Abt on Saturday, but almost a second quicker than Fittipaldi in second.
Elsewhere, de Vries finally got some circuit time in the #1 cars, and did well to breech the top ten with only fifteen laps on the board. Mitsunori Takaboshi, Michael Benyahia and Bruno Spengler, meanwhile, would all cause brief stoppages with breakdowns on circuit, meaning local racer Benyahia would end the day with the slowest time of the afternoon. Also seemingly off the pace was Harry Tincknell, although the Brit opted not to complete a "quali" lap, instead completing a full race simulation for NIO.
Below is the full result from the first day of the 2018 Rookie Test:
|2018 Rookie Test Session Two Times|
|1st||66||Nico Müller||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||52||1:19.651||—|
|2nd||3||Pietro Fittipaldi||Jaguar Racing||34||1:20.597||+0.946s|
|3rd||6||Maximilian Günther||Dragon Racing||37||1:20.657||+1.006s|
|4th||20||Paul di Resta||Jaguar Racing||40||1:20.774||+1.123s|
|6th||19||Daniel Juncadella||Mahindra Racing||30||1:20.874||+1.223s|
|7th||2||Antonio Giovinazzi||DS Virgin Racing||32||1:20.876||+1.225s|
|8th||36||Joel Eriksson||DS Virgin Racing||33||1:20.971||+1.320s|
|9th||1||Nyck de Vries||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||15||1:21.108||+1.457s|
|10th||4||Gary Paffett||Venturi Formula E Team||25||1:21.351||+1.700s|
|11th||7||Andrea Caldarelli||Dragon Racing||39||1:21.375||+1.724s|
|12th||23||Sam Dejonghe||Mahindra Racing||38||1:21.884||+2.233s|
|13th||9||Alexander Albon||Renault e.Dams||51||1:22.027||+2.376s|
|15th||16||Alexandre Imperatori||NIO Formula E Team||34||1:22.500||+2.849s|
|16th||28||Colton Herta||Andretti Formula E||34||1:22.674||+3.022s|
|17th||68||Harry Tincknell||NIO Formula E Team||53||1:23.791||+4.140s|
|18th||5||Michael Benyahia||Venturi Formula E Team||20||1:23.975||+4.324s|
|19th||27||Bruno Spengler||Andretti Formula E||27||1:24.127||+4.476s|
|20th||8||Mitsunori Takaboshi||Renault e.Dams||47||1:24.179||+4.528s|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sam Smith, 'Marrakesh to Host Rookie Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 09/11/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/marrakesh-to-host-rookie-test/, (Accessed 14/12/2017)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Scott Mitchell, 'Audi's Muller sets lap record in Formula E rookie test', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 14/01/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/audi-muller-tops-formula-e-rookie-test-with-new-lap-record-995760/, (Accessed 15/01/2018)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Scott Mitchell, 'Di Resta tops first session of Formula E rookie test', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 14/01/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/di-resta-rookie-test-marrakesh-rossiter-eriksson-995666/, (Accessed 14/01/2018)
- ↑ 'Formula E raises race power for Season 4', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/formula-e-raises-race-power-for-season-4/, (Accessed 20/06/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Scott Mitchell, 'Audi calls up de Vries, Muller for Formula E test', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 12/12/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/audi-fe-rookie-test-de-vries-muller-987950/, (Accessed 13/12/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sam Smith, 'Mahindra to Test Juncadella, Dejonghe in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 13/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/mahindra-to-test-juncadella-dejonghe-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 14/12/2017)
- ↑ Tim Biesbrouck, 'Mahindra signs Sam Dejonghe and Belgian tech partners', electricautosport.com, (Formula Blue Media, 09/11/2017), https://www.electricautosport.com/2017/11/mahindra-signs-sam-dejonghe-belgian-tech-partners/, (Accessed 14/12/2017)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Sam Smith, 'Pietro Fittipaldi to Test for Jaguar', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 12/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/pietro-fittipaldi-to-test-for-jaguar/, (Accessed 14/12/2017)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Scott Mitchell, 'Ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta and Pietro Fittipaldi to test Formula E Jaguar', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/01/2018), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/133741/di-resta-and-fittipaldi-to-test-for-jaguar, (Accessed 03/01/2018)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 'Morocco's Michael Benyahia to test for Venturi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/moroccos-michael-benyahia-to-test-for-venturi/, (Accessed 15/12/2017)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 'Formula E rookie test driver line-up revealed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/formula-e-rookie-test-driver-line-up-revealed/, (Accessed 04/01/2018)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 'Colton Herta to test for Andretti', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/colton-herta-to-test-for-andretti/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Sam Smith, 'Spengler to Test for Andretti in Morocco', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 15/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/spengler-to-test-for-andretti-in-morocco/, (Accessed 18/12/2017)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Sam Smith, 'NIO to Test Tincknell in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 15/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/nio-to-test-tincknell-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 18/12/2017)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Luke Smith, 'NIO Enters Tincknell, Imperatori for Rookie Test, e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 03/01/2018), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/nio-enters-tincknell-imperatori-to-rookie-test/, (Accessed 03/01/2018)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Sam Smith, 'Albon to Test for Renault e.dams', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 19/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/albon-to-test-for-renault-e-dams/, (Accessed 19/12/2017)
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Scott Mitchell, 'Renault to test Nissan's F3 champion in Formula E at Marrakech', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 21/12/2017), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/133637/renault-to-test-nissan-f3-champion, (Accessed 21/12/2017)
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 'Rossiter and Mako to test for TECHEETAH', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/rossiter-and-mako-to-test-for-techeetah/, (Accessed 19/12/2017)
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Sam Smith, 'Caldarelli Set for Rookie Test in Marrakesh', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC, 20/12/2017), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/caldarelli-set-for-rookie-test-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 21/12/2017)
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Scott Mitchell, 'Gunther gets Formula E test chance with Dragon', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 23/12/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/gunther-gets-formula-e-test-chance-with-dragon-990612/, (Accessed 23/12/2017)
- ↑ Scott Mitchell and Roman Wittemeier, 'Jani leaves Dragon after single Formula E race weekend', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/01/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/jani-leaves-dragon-formula-e-after-hong-kong-992386/, (Accessed 03/01/2018)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 'Joel Eriksson to test for DS Virgin Racing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/joel-eriksson-to-test-for-ds-virgin-racing/, (Accessed 03/01/2018)
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 'MARRAKESH ROOKIE TEST, SEASON 2017-18', fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/01/2018), http://fiaformulae.alkamelsystems.com/index.php, (Accessed 14/01/2018)