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Drugovich gets another FE run after helping Maserati improve its form

by Ida Wood

Photo: Maserati

Reigning Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich leads the junior single-seater racers and graduates called up to participate in Formula E’s rookie free practice session at this weekend’s Rome E-Prix.

Drugovich is currently serving as Aston Martin and McLaren’s reserve driver in Formula 1, and in April drove for the Monaco-based Maserati team (which previously competed as Venturi) in FE’s rookie test in Berlin where he topped the times.

In Rome there will be an additional practice session to be contested by ‘rookie’ drivers under the same eligibility criteria as the series’ rookie tests.

As Drugovich is yet to race in FE it means he is able to take part, and it provides Maserati a further opportunity to assess the 23-year-old in the car while it considers its driver line-up for next season.

“My first experience of FE in Berlin was very positive, and I found the Maserati Tipo Folgore very fun and rewarding to drive,” said Drugovich.

“The series is unique in comparison to any other single-seater category, and after discovering the nuances of the Gen3 car earlier this year, I’m excited to continue my own development as a driver in Rome.

“Representing such an iconic Italian brand in the heart of its capital city will be a very special experience, and I would like to thank the team for their continued support. I can’t wait.”

In the announcement of his Rome outing, Maserati said Drugovich “collected data that was vital to the Monegasque marque’s recent return to form” in his Berlin test. The team had scored 29 points in first eight races of the season, and in the four races since the Berlin test has scored 66 points including taking two poles, a victory and two other podiums.

“Felipe really impressed us in Berlin, and after showing strong technical understanding and awareness – despite having never driven a FE car before – he was our natural first choice for Rome,” said Maserati’s team principal James Rossiter.

“Nurturing the next generation of talent is a key part of who we are as a team, and to provide this opportunity to Felipe, who is one of motorsport’s most promising young drivers, is very meaningful to us. We can’t wait for him to gain more experience behind the wheel.”

Andretti Autosport will run Red Bull junior Zane Maloney in Rome practice, having also called up the F2 racer for the Berlin test. Maloney is currently ninth in the standings in his rookie F2 season, with three feature race podiums.

Mahindra meanwhile has called up its reserve driver Jehan Daruvala, another to have contested the Berlin test. He is 11th in the F2 standings right now in his fourth year in the series.