until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Ex-Mercedes F1 junior handed Formula E debut

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Former Mercedes Formula 1 junior Paul Aron will make his Formula E debut in May in Berlin.

The 20-year-old Estonian will be part of a fully swapped-out line-up for reigning teams' champion Envision Jaguar - which will also call upon the services of Joel Eriksson, the current Jaguar reserve with eight E-Prix starts to his name.

Envision is having to replace both of its drivers for the double-header round at the Tempelhof airport because both Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns have priority World Endurance Championship commitments that weekend.

They will run in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps for Toyota and BMW respectively on Saturday, and won't be able to join up for the Sunday Berlin E-Prix race either due to the wording of the FE regulations that forbids non-force majeure in-weekend driver changes.

Envision's announcement described this as "disappointing".

“This is a very unusual situation for us as a team, and we are obviously frustrated that the calendar clash could not be resolved by the FIA and [series owner/promoter] FEO,” said team boss Sylvain Filippi.

“However, we have to make the best of the situation, and I believe with both Joel and Paul we have two very exciting and competitive drivers.”

Aron was let go by Mercedes' junior programme last year after a four-year association - and yet 2024 could well turn out to be the most important and fruitful season of his career so far.

Having graduated to F1's main feeder series Formula 2 after a third-placed finish in Formula 3, Aron - younger brother of fellow former F3 frontrunner Ralf, now a Mercedes GT driver - sits second in the F2 standings as effectively a rookie, with just two prior starts in the series under his belt.

Driving for Hitech, he has been on the podium in three of the first six races, as F2's pecking order appears to have been reset - and built-up experience negated somewhat - by the car change for 2024.

As part of preparation for his start, Aron will also replace Jack Aitken as the designated rookie for Formula E's mandatory rookie practice at Misano.

Envision "extends its thanks to Jack for his understanding". One-time F1 grand prix starter Aitken would've been a shoo-in for its Berlin roster but is busy that weekend competing in IMSA at Laguna Seca as a works Cadillac driver.

Another driver set to make his FE race debut in Berlin - albeit one 10 years older than Aron - is sometime Manor F1 tester Jordan King.

King will be standing in at Mahindra for 2021 champion Nyck de Vries, likewise absent due to a WEC clash, and has been a long-time reserve and development driver for the team.

The team is giving King a free practice outing during the upcoming Misano race weekend on April 12.

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