Mercedes factory drivers Gary Paffett and Paul Di Resta will both take part in the Formula E rookie test on 14th January in Morocco.
The two drivers will test for different teams with Paffett, 36, driving one of the Venturi cars and Di Resta, 31, testing for Jaguar.
It is understood Paffett was given the chance to test after his DTM team HWA, the Mercedes manufacturer team of the German series, put in a request to the Venturi squad. Mercedes are set to enter Formula E with a link-up with Venturi for series 6 which will begin at the end of 2019 and the manufacturer are keen to gather as much information about the cars as possible. The test would not only allow them chance to do that, it would also allow them to assess Paffett in the all-electric machinery. Paffett has raced for HWA for the past 14 seasons winning the DTM championship in 2005. He has gained 20 victories and 12 pole positions in that time. Paffett also has Formula One experience being McLaren’s test and simulator driver from 2006 to 2014. He has recently taken on a simulator only testing role with Williams.
Di Resta, who also drives for the HWA team in the DTM, has much more recent experience of single seater machinery. He deputised for the injured Felipe Massa at last years Hungarian Grand Prix putting in a solid performance depite never having driven the 2017 car before that weekend. He was also an outside bet for a Williams race drive for 2018 but now appears to have been overlooked with that drive seemingly going to one of Robert Kubica or Sergey Sirotkin. In his 8 seasons in DTM, Di Resta has taken 8 victories and 7 pole positions, winning the series in 2010.
The rookie test will take place the day after Round 3 of the current Formula E series at the 12-turn, 1.86 mile Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassanin in Marrakesh. Each of the ten teams will run two rookie drivers over the course of the day. Other drivers announced for the test include Formula 2 racer Nyck de Vries for the Abt Audi squad, Antonio Giovanazzi for DS Virgin racing and Brits Harry Tincknell and James Rossiter for NIO and TECHEETAH respectively. Another Brit, Sam Bird, currently leads the Formula E championship from Jean-Eric Vergne and Felix Rosenqvist after the first two rounds which both took place in Hong Kong at the start of December.
Feature Image Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jaguar_Formel_E_IAA_2017_IMG_0844.jpg