Chadwick and Powell complete Marrakesh Formula E Rookie Test
British drivers Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick completed the Formula E Rookie Test at Marrakesh following Saturday's ePrix: it was Powell's first taste of the electric formula.
In a Sunday devoid of much racing action, the Formula E annual Rookie Test went underway in Marrakesh, Morocco, following Saturday's ePrix on the 3km Circuit Moulay El Hassan.
On the entry list, two names stood out: Williams F1 Development Driver and inaugural W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, and fellow Brit and race winner Alice Powell.
Chadwick entered her third Formula E Rookie Test, having taken part in the two previous editions for Chinese manufacturer NIO. She now joined Panasonic Jaguar Racing at the wheel of the Jaguar I-Type IV alongside All-Japan Formula 3 champion Sacha Fenestraz.
It was the first taste of Formula E machinery for Alice Powell instead, who joined the ranks of Envision Virgin Racing. Powell, who is contesting a full season in the Formula E support series, the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, is not a complete newcomer to electric vehicles though.
The morning session was topped by Audi's Kelvin van der Linde, who signed a 1:17.505 lap, 0.021 seconds ahead of Nick Cassidy in the second Virgin Racing car.
The ADAC GT champion led a very tight classify, with 15 drivers within the one second gap.
Alice Powell finished 17th, clocking a 1:18.933 in her 44th and last morning lap. Jamie Chadwick was five hundredth of a second behind, in P20.
As the only in-season test, teams tried to capitalise on each session track time and drivers collected useful data for their respective outfits.
Times dropped in the afternoon session, where almost every driver recorded their best laptimes. It was Envision Virgin Racing's Nick Cassidy to claim the top spot with a 1:16.467 lap, the fastest ever around the Marrakesh street circuit.
Former Formula 2 driver Sergio Sette Camara (GEOX Dragon) was second, almost half a second off the New Zealander's pace, with Filipe Albuquerque close behind in third for DS Techeetah. Nicolas Lapierre was fourth in the second Techeetah, filling in for James Rossiter (who had replaced the ill Jean Eric Vergne in the practice session).
It was an impressive debut for Kyle Kirkwood in the BMW iFE.20: the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 dominator rounded out the top-5, eight tenths from the top of the timesheets.
Jamie Chadwick improved her best lap by more than one second and finished the day in a very promising P13. Chadwick completed 45 more laps, signing a 1:17.721 as her best performance.
"Had a really successful test, lots taken onboard, lots learnt, I really enjoyed the day." - said Jamie after the second session. "Big thanks to the Jaguar Racing guys, hopefully we can do more soon and I'll be back in a Formula E car. "
Alice Powell drove again consistently but was a little more frustrated by her afternoon run, which was affected by some traffic issues and yellow flags. She finished 21st, with a best lap of 1:18.301 after a total of 83 laps completed.
“This whole weekend has been great, I’ve loved being embedded into the Envision Virgin Racing team and everyone has made me feel so welcome." - commented Alice.
"The car felt good today and it’s been exciting getting to grips with it – it’s very different to everything I’ve driven before."
"My afternoon session was a bit frustrating, as I was caught up in traffic, and I feel like I could’ve been further up the timings sheet but it was a great experience none-the-less. I want to say a huge thanks to the team for the opportunity, it’s been incredible.”
In Alice's words:
"The car felt good today and it’s been exciting getting to grips with it"