DS Penske have become the latest team to announce who’ll be completing next Monday’s Formula E Rookie Test, with the American side having gone for a duo with links to Formula 1.
Representing DS Penske at the Tempelhof Street Circuit next Monday will be Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver Robert Shwartzman and ex-Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens, who is also a winner of the illustrious Le Mans 24 Hours.
Shwartzman’s career is finally starting to get back-on-track following the ignition of the conflict in Eastern Europe, with him having been unable to compete in Formula 2 last season due to the conflict. Ferrari have kept the F2 race winner and former Formula 3 World Champion on the books, though, with the Italians rating the Russo-Israeli driver very highly.
He is Ferrari’s main reserve driver this season and is also set to compete in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup for AF Corse, giving him a busier schedule than last year. Looking ahead to the test which takes place a day after the Berlin E-Prix double-header, Shwartzman is “thrilled” to be able to drive a Gen3 car and is fascinated by how it’ll feel to drive.
“‘I am thrilled to get the chance to drive a Formula E car, and I thank Jay Penske for giving me this opportunity. This championship is a very interesting, growing platform, it has quite a different approach compared to other racing series but that’s why it’s fascinating. As a driver I’m always keen to be able to gain experience with different cars and this test offers me the chance to try a new kind of single-seater in a year that sees me involved in Formula 1 as third driver and in GT racing as an official driver of Ferrari.
“To get to do my Formula E debut with the most awarded manufacturer on the grid makes this particularly special. I am also very excited to work alongside this team, who have been very welcoming, and shares with me the will to succeed in every aspect of the sport!”
Just like Shwartzman, Stevens is “really happy” to have been given the chance by DS Penske to discover a whole new series, with him having ventured off into sports cars since leaving Manor Marussia at the end of the 2015 season. For 2023, Stevens is set to compete in the World Endurance Championship Hypercar class for Hertz Team Jota, who are set to enter the season from the next round in Spa-Francorchamps.
Stevens won the WEC LMP2 class and the Le Mans 24 Hours last season for Jota, with the dream being of winning the famous race again this year.
Stevens is an incredibly successful driver who has performed well in every category he’s competed in, with him likely to fit right in amongst the Formula E paddock. Looking ahead to the test, the Briton is “curious to try” the Gen3 car with it being so different to any other single-seater; however, he’s hopeful that his experience elsewhere will come in handy.
“I am really happy to be taking in a new challenge in Formula E with DS PENSKE.This is completely different from any other race series I’ve been in, but I am hoping my experience in many other categories will give me a head start as a rookie. I have a sense of what the car is like from the work I have done in the simulator so far and look forward to the challenge ahead.
“I am curious to try it first hand, especially around such a unique track that is Berlin. Together with some of the best drivers and manufacturers in the world makes it an exciting place to be.”
When looking at the team’s lineup for the first Rookie Test since 2020, Team Principal Jay Penske is very pleased to give two “talented drivers” their “first taste” of the all-electric series, with the team boss viewing both as perfect fits for the outfit.
“It is always a special moment for the team to host talented drivers and give them their first taste of Formula E. This event is an amazing opportunity to see how they perform in a Formula E car. I am very excited to have Robert and Will behind the wheel of our GEN3 car, they have both demonstrated their raw speed and racecraft throughout the single-seater categories.
“Robert is a fierce competitor and Will has impressive technical skills, their mindsets fit perfectly with DS PENSKE and I am glad to have them in the team for this test!”