Ahead of the first Formula E rookie test since 2020, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team have confirmed that endurance driver Charlie Eastwood and Formula 3 driver Luke Browning will complete the test for the Woking-based team, which takes place a day after the Berlin E-Prix.
Eastwood and Browning will get an incredible opportunity to test McLaren’s first Gen3 car at the Tempelhof Street Circuit in Berlin, a day after the eighth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Getting to take part in the test will simply add to what has already been a great year for Eastwood, with the Irishman having won the Asian Le Mans Series at the start of the year for DKR Engineering‘s LMP2 set-up. Eastwood is also competing in the LMP2 class in the European Le Mans Series this year, whilst his campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship has already started.
Eastwood is competing in the LMGTE Am for ORT by TF Sport, with his campaign in the WEC having started with a ninth-place finish at Sebring. With all of that in mind, it’s certainly been a busy start to the year for the Asian Le Mans Series Champion; however, he can’t wait to drive something “very different” in the form of McLaren’s Gen3 challenger.
“I’m really looking forward to be jumping into the NEOM McLaren Formula E car. I’m grateful for the opportunity to gain some experience in very different machinery than usual. I’ll be looking to pick up as much as I can from the successful and experienced team I will be surrounded by. It will be a different style of driving compared to what I’m used to – I don’t doubt I have a lot to learn, but I’m eager to pick it up as quickly as possible. Looking forward to the 24th!”
Browning is also “absolutely buzzing” with the opportunity to test in Berlin, with him having already received a “taste” of what’s set to come in the simulator. This year is Browning’s first in Formula 3 after he made the move from the GB3 Championship, which he won last season. He’s certainly a very talented driver destined to go higher up the motorsport ladder, after making a solid start to his maiden F3 campaign. He also won the 2022 Autosport BRDC Award.
Browning is a fan of the all-electric series and in particular “loves the complexity of the series”, perhaps suggesting that he’d be all for a future move to Formula E!
“I’m absolutely buzzing to drive the Gen3 car at the Berlin Rookie Test. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some of the races earlier this season, and I really like the championship. I love the complexity of the series, as well as the car itself. I’ve had a taste of it on the simulator and I am sure there will be a lot to learn on the day. I’m super excited and can’t wait to work with the team.”
Team Principal Ian James is delighted with the team’s lineup for the rookie test and is particularly pleased to see the rookie test make a return after a few years away, with it giving the teams a great chance to offer a test to “emerging talent”.
“I am happy to be able to host an official rookie test again this season,” James said. “It is a good way for us as teams to give talent the opportunity to get a taste of the Gen3 machinery, while being able to evaluate them at the same time. Our line-up is an exciting combination of Charlie, who we’ve been working closely together with for a while now, and Luke, who is an emerging talent. It will be great to see both of them out on track.
“It’s good to see significant interest in the series, from both up-and-coming talent, as well as established drivers.”