Constructors’ Championship leaders TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team have announced their full driver line-up for this month’s Formula E rookie test, which will take place a day after the Berlin E-Prix.
Berlin will host rounds seven and eight of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as well as the first Formula E rookie test since 2020. Completing the test for Porsche will be twenty-two year-old Chinese driver Yifei Ye, who is set to compete in this season’s FIA World Endurance Championship in a customer Porsche 963 hybrid prototype for Hertz Team JOTA. Ye does have some experience in single-seater racing, but his career nowadays is spent almost entirely in sportscars, with his most recent appearance in a single-seater having been in 2020, when he won the Euroformula Open Championship.
Since the end of 2021, though, Ye has been a fully supported Porsche driver and is Porsche Motorsport’s Asia Pacific Selected Driver, highlighting the potential the German manufacturer see in him.
Despite this, the young Chinese driver is very much looking forward to driving a Formula E car at the Tempelhof Street Circuit, with him being “very grateful” to Porsche for the opportunity.
“I’ve always wanted to drive a Formula E car and I’m grateful that Porsche is giving me that opportunity. For me, this is an interesting new challenge that I’m really excited to get stuck into. Beforehand, I’ll follow the races in Berlin closely from the pits and try to learn as much as possible from António and Pascal.
“That will definitely help me to familiarise myself with the Porsche 99X Electric as quickly as possible. With Porsche, I’m concentrating on the WEC for now. But I’m still young and can certainly imagine contesting Formula E races one day. Electric motorsport has a bright future.”
Also completing the rookie test for the German manufacturer is former Formula 2 driver David Beckmann, who is also set to compete at the Jakarta E-Prix. Beckmann is Porsche’s official reserve and test driver this season in the all-electric series, with him having held the same role for Avalanche Andretti Formula E in Season Eight.
Following his time driving for Porsche in Berlin, Beckmann is expected to compete in the Jakarta double-header for Andretti, with the German filling in for André Lotterer who has commitments in the WEC that weekend. Beckmann is looking forward to driving in Berlin especially with the test coming right before his twenty-fourth birthday, with it set to be his second time driving the Porsche 99X Electric.
“Being able to drive the Porsche 99X Electric in Berlin just a few days before my birthday is a great present. For me, it’s a fantastic experience to enter the new era of Formula E with Porsche this season.
“I already got the chance to drive the new Porsche 99X Electric on the racetrack at the official Formula E test in Calafat. It was very impressive. I’m really looking forward to the rookie test and getting to know our car even better. Of course, I also hope to be able to share some useful insights with my team.”
The rookie test will be a great opportunity for Porsche to get a glimpse of perhaps some future talent in Formula E, something which will be highly beneficial for them should they want to remain as a leading side into the future. Team Principal Florian Modlinger recognises that their Gen3 car is “not easy to drive” but that the rookie test will offer Beckmann, and Ye in particular, a great experience to see “what Formula E is all about”.
“The rookie test is a great opportunity to show young drivers what Formula E is all about. It’s also about familiarising them with our Porsche 99X Electric, which is a very complex racing car and not easy to drive. For rookies coming into Formula E, the test offers them a good chance to experience what they’ll come up against in this racing series.
“As a team, we want to use this event to introduce young drivers to Formula E and see how they perform in a Formula E car. David has already tested for us. Now we’re looking forward to seeing how well Yifei gets on with our Porsche 99X Electric.”