The annual Formula E rookie test will take place on Sunday April 25, a day after the first ever Spanish E-Prix at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The venue was confirmed as a replacement for the cancelled Paris E-Prix last week and will be specially adapted to mirror aspects of street racing. This will likely include bypassing some of the long main straight at the venue, located just outside of Spain’s third-largest city.
The Race can reveal that the date has been broadly agreed by the teams but that some team principals have expressed concern because of the knock-on effects of the pandemic disruption. Additionally, the following round in Monaco is known to cause headaches operationally because of the limited time allowed in the principality for preparation work.
Within the regulations there is scope for six promoter test days. Three have already been run at Valencia last November. The only time more than four were used was in the 2018-19 season when the full allocation was completed – with three pre-season days in Valencia, a special test in Riyadh to incorporate several women racers, a rookie test in Marrakesh (pictured below) and a further day after the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix.
The upcoming rookie test day in Valencia, which is set to be confirmed by Formula E officially soon, will not clash with Formula 1 feeder series Formula 2 and Formula 3 for the first time since 2019.
The 2020 rookie test at Marrakesh last March clashed with F2 and F3 testing in Bahrain and meant that teams’ choices were mostly narrowed down to established test drivers or sportscar professionals.
“The intention is that the rookie test will be on Sunday [at Valencia],” Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle told The Race.
“We’re still working through the exact details of what that will entail. But there seems to be a good buy-in from the teams wanting to do that.
“One of the key areas of development that we’ve talked about with the teams over the last 18 months is how do we create that pipeline of talent into Formula E and into electric racing generally, and we think this is a good opportunity to do it.”
The Race understands that some drivers from the W Series could also run at the test as they are scheduled to be testing at the same venue in readiness for their first season since 2019 a few days after the E-Prix weekend.
Several former junior single-seater drivers are known to be actively looking at future Formula E roles. These include Williams F1 tester, and George Russell’s replacement in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Jack Aitken.
Additionally, Louis Deletraz, David Beckmann, Callum IIott, Dan Ticktum and Luca Ghiotto have all either attended tests or been in contact with teams about possible runs before.
There will also be no major sportscar fixture clashes with the test as both the FIA WEC and IMSA do not have races planned that weekend.
However, the Super Formula series in Japan – where some potential testers will be racing – does have a clashing event with the second of its planned 2021 calendar announced for Suzuka that weekend.