until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Aston F1 reserve in contention for 2024 Formula E race seat

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

News that Felipe Drugovich will reacquaint himself with the Maserati MSG Formula E team in Rome next month during the next round of rookie running gives a clear indication that the reigning Formula 2 champion and Aston Martin F1 reserve is a contender for a race seat next season.

Drugovich will complete the additional free practice session on the Friday before the crucial Rome E-Prix begins and is known to be interested in joining the all-electric series in 2024.

A still FE volatile driver market is yet to truly spark into life and the 23-year-old Brazilian can still play a vital role in it.

Formula E Berlin Rookie Test

Drugovich was fastest for Maserati MSG in the Berlin rookie test in April and told The Race then that he thought Formula E was initially “a bit weird to start with and I didn’t know if the cars were going to be enjoyable to drive.

“But it’s actually very fun to drive so I enjoyed that. Also everyone knows that the category is very competitive, the teams are very professional, so that also surpassed my expectations. Everything is impressive and I’m enjoying it.”

He is known to have impressed team principal James Rossiter and The Race understands that he expressed a wish for more test time as this season wore on.

Maserati MSG only gets a small allowance of test days due to its deal as a customer of its Stellantis mothership via DS Automobiles, which is the registered manufacturer and creator of the DS E-TENSE FE-23 cars that also race through special arrangement branded as Maserati Tipo Folgores.

Maserati MSG’s 2024 driver strategy is presently unknown but it could face a dilemma in who races for it next season.

Long-time Venturi/Maserati MSG driver Edoardo Mortara is known to have a contract with the team up until the end of the 2024 campaign. However, he has endured the most difficult season of his six in the championship.

Formula E Jakarta Eprix

He has scored just 17 points from 12 races compared to the 78 accrued by team-mate Maximilian Guenther, who won Maserati MSG’s first race in Jakarta earlier this month and has scored two additional podiums for the team.

Guenther is also beating Mortara 7-5 in qualifying and has an average start of 8.6 compared to Mortara’s 10.7.

But Guenther only has a one year deal with options after he was drafted into the seat relatively late because originally chosen driver Nyck de Vries accepted an F1 drive with Alpha Tauri for 2023.

The two Maserati MSG drivers collided at Portland last Saturday when battling for sixth position. Mortara was heading Guenther as they approached the penultimate lap. The TV cameras missed the incident which resulted in Mortara slewing off the track and then retiring in the pits.

Rossiter described the incident as “a small mistake with points implications”.

Spacesuit Media Lou Johnson 403522

Prior to that Rossiter had told The Race the day before the Portland E-Prix that Mortara had contributed hugely to the team’s rejuvenated competitiveness in Jakarta even though it was Guenther who took the victory.

“One of the things that doesn’t get seen by everybody, because he hasn’t had the result yet, is how much of his hard work and his contribution to the team has created the performances,” said Rossiter of Mortara.

“I’ll be very clear, some of the performance that came on Max’s car came from Edo, in the debrief [after Jakarta race one], he found something and he was open, he shared it, we worked together openly between both cars and this is what you have to do.

“I felt very sorry for Edo because he had incredible pace in Jakarta, he was very close to Max in the group, lost to Max in the duels, then in the race, he had a huge issue with his car.

“I think without that he was easily on the podium, maybe even fighting Jake [Dennis] for second place.”

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