Shwartzman heads the way in morning session of Berlin Rookie Test

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Shwartzman heads the way in morning session of Berlin Rookie Test

DS PENSKE's Robert Shwartzman was quickest in the first of two three hour sessions at the Berlin Rookie Test, heading the way from Felipe Drugovich (Maserati MSG Racing) and Frederik Vesti (Mahindra Racing).

Shwartzman Berlin Season 10

Shwartzman drove to a 1m02.050s which was just a couple of tenths-of-a-second shy of Jake Dennis' pole lap ahead of the SUN MINIMEAL Berlin E-Prix Round 10 on Sunday.

The DS racer is Reserve Driver for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team and he is continuing his work alongside the DS PENSKE squad at the Berlin Rookie Test after appearing in Misano earlier this season.

RESULTS: The full Rookie Test classification

Felipe Drugovich is another familiar face in Formula E's pool of rookie drivers. The Brazilian was second quickest, 0.071s shy of the ultimate pace. He is once again behind the wheel of the Maserati Tipo Folgore GEN3 car having topped the times in Berlin in the Rookie Test last year, and tested in Rookie Free Practice in Rome - where he also wound up fastest.

Drugovich Berlin Season 10

Drugovich has a great track record as the 2022 FIA Formula 2 champion. Over the 2022 season, the Maserati MSG Racing man achieved five wins and 11 podiums to win the feeder series by 101 points to his nearest rival. His skill and talent caught the eyes of teams within F1 too, as he currently holds the role of Test and Reserve Driver at Aston Martin.

During his day of testing in Berlin for the Monegasque team last April, Drugovich locked in 99 laps and finished the day with a time that was over a tenth quicker than the rest of the field. The squad also said his test helped the team collect vital data.

Zane Maloney Berlin Season 10

Frederik Vesti was next quickest, a few hundredths of a second back. The Dane is among the standout talents to emerge from the FIA’s single-seater pathway in recent times, amassing an impressive 37 race victories and 81 podium finishes across stints in Formula 4, Formula Regional, FIA Formula 3 and FIA Formula 2. The 22-year-old narrowly finished runner-up in the Formula 2 title race last season, and makes his first Formula E appearance in the German capital. 

Sheldon van der Linde (Jaguar TCS Racing), Gabriele Mini (Nissan) and Kush Maini (Mahindra Racing) rounded out the top six with FIA Formula 2 standings leader Zane Maloney (Andretti) found himself seventh, 0.362 seconds from Shwartzman's best.

Marta Garcia Berlin Season 10

Marta Garcia (ERT) had spent the weekend competing in FRECA at Hockenheim and headed directly to Berlin Tempelhof for her work with ERT. The F1 Academy champion rounded in 21st, completing the team's data collection and development programme for the morning.

The drivers completed a total of 1,099 laps over the three-hour morning session.

What classifies as a rookie?

To be able to take part in the session, drivers must hold either a full E-Licence or at the least a Free Practice only E-Licence. They also can’t have taken part in a Formula E race weekend, so there is no chance you’ll be able to qualify for the session if you’ve already got race experience from a previous E-Prix, for example.

They will also need to complete a specific training session on electrical safety, understand the features of the fully-electric Formula E car, and know the technical and sporting regulations for the championship. 

From the various test days given to teams over the season, a maximum of two of the six official days can be reserved for rookie drivers. They can only participate in up to two official test days.

Why do drivers take part?

The Berlin Rookie Test offers drivers curious about electric racing and competing in the world's leading electric racing championship. It is a strong opportunity to try it out first-hand, with the grid always being packed to the brim with such a high standard of talent, finding a seat can be a challenge - so much so, journalists and drivers alike have called the Formula E field the best in motorsport. It's also a chance to grab the attention of team bosses if drivers impress.

Since the last rookie test in 2020, several drivers have made the step up to a full-time race seat. Jaguar TCS Racing’s Nick Cassidy, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz, NEOM McLaren’s Jake Hughes, Andretti's Norman Nato and ERT's Sergio Sette Camara all qualified as rookies last time out and are now some of the brightest stars on the grid.