until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Clash halts F2/F3 drivers’ Formula E test talks

by Matt Beer
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The annual Formula E Championship rookie test in Marrakech will not feature any current FIA Formula 2 or Formula 3 drivers in 2020.

The Formula E test is scheduled for Sunday 1st March, the day after the Marrakech race, but clashes with F2 and F3 test sessions in Bahrain that run over 1st-3rd March.

Before the date clash emerged, several F2/F3 drivers had been talking to Formula E teams about the test but have now had to halt those conversations.

The Race understands that these included both Red Bull young driver Juri Vips, Charouz’s Louis Deletraz and HWA Racelab F3 driver Jake Hughes.

This means that teams have been forced to look elsewhere for available drivers.

The Race has learned that reigning Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy is set to be among those entered and will appear in Marrakech, while DTM, World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar contracted racers are also believed to have been contacted for potential drives.

At least one driver from the W Series is also set to be in attendance at the test, in which drivers will have several hours of available running in Gen2 Formula E machinery.

Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick appeared for NIO in Diriyah and Marrakech last season, with Beitske Visser running for BMW I Andretti Motorsport and 2020 W Series addition Katherine Legge driving for Mahindra.

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Any of those three drivers could all reappear for the 2020 test, as could F2 racer turned Super Formula rookie Tatiana Calderon, while The Race understands that W Series frontrunner Alice Powell is also a possible entry after recently holding talks about a drive in Morocco.

DTM driver Joel Eriksson is also set to participate at the test. Eriksson drove for what was then DS Virgin at the corresponding test in January 2018 but it is believed he will run for another team this year.

The Race understands an option of using the forthcoming Mexico City E-Prix as the venue for the test was not viable because of another event at the facility.

Additionally, teams did not want to fly drivers to Mexico as it was viewed as an unnecessary expense.

The test will only be open to drivers that do not currently hold an e-licence. This is required by the regulations to partake in the championship.

The move to push through the date and location of the test on a date that clashed with two significant junior single-seater championships was questioned by Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James.

“It’s clearly frustrating that there is this clash, because it does reduce the pool of talent that you can pick from,” James told The Race.

“I think in future we need to take that into consideration and look carefully at when we do these tests, working together with the other series to make sure that we can avoid those conflicts where possible.”

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