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F1 reserve drivers Drugovich and Shwartzman set for FE rookie test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Maserati MSG Racing

Formula 1 reserve drivers Felipe Drugovich and Robert Shwartzman are among the latest crop of drivers that have been announced as driving in Formula E’s rookie test in Berlin next week.

Reigning Formula 2 champion Drugovich and FIA Formula 3 racer Hugh Barter have been called up by the Monaco-based Maserati (the team which previously competed as Venturi).

Drugovich is currently a junior driver of the Aston Martin F1 team, and is employed as reserve driver for the team as well as fellow Mercedes engine customer McLaren.

“I can’t wait to get my first taste of the Maserati Tipo Folgore and Gen3 FE [car] in Berlin,” said Drugovich. “FE is a category that has always fascinated me, and it will be intriguing to experience the differences of a fully electric car in comparison to the single-seaters I’ve raced in recent seasons. Knowing that I will be playing an active role in the development of such an iconic brand, in its first season back in world championship motorsport, is a huge honour. I’m very excited.”

Barter meanwhile is currently embarking on his rookie F3 season and is 18th in the standings after two rounds. Last year he was runner-up in the French and Spanish Formula 4 championships.

“I would like to thank Maserati MSG Racing for giving me the opportunity to experience FE for the very first time,” said Barter.

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience in the simulator so far and I can’t wait to get out on the track in Berlin. Working closely with James, Edo and Max will be an invaluable learning experience for me, especially at this stage of my career.”

Shwartzman was FIA F3 champion in 2019, F2 runner-up in 2021 and is now Ferrari’s reserve driver. He is expected to drive for DS Penske (a merger of the Dragon Racing team with powertrain provider DS), although is yet to be announced.

Abt Cupra have called up local driver and Formula Regional racer Tim Tramnitz for the test. The 18-year-old was 15th in the European championship last year, and started 2023 by coming 20th in the Middle East championship.

“I am really looking forward to the rookie test in Berlin,” said Tramnitz. “The test came about at short notice through the mediation of the ADAC Sports Foundation with Motorsport Team Germany.

“Together with the Abt team, the foundation is helping me to get to Berlin on Sunday evening after my race in the FRegional European Championship in Imola, so that I am ready for action on Monday morning [April 24].”

Mahindra will utilise its reserve driver Jehan Daruvala, who is currently in his fourth F2 season and sits sixth in the standings after three rounds.

Other junior single-seater racers already confirmed for the test include Indy Nxt champion Linus Lundqvist and F2’s Zane Maloney at Andretti Autosport, Alpine junior Victor Martins (Nissan) and F3 racers Luke Browning (McLaren) and Jonny Edgar (Envision Racing).