With the second in-season test due very shortly, being restricted to just rookie drivers, Mahindra Racing will be running former Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin and their simulator and development driver Sam Dejonghe on 13th January in Marrakesh.
Sirotkin secured his first karting championship title at the age of 11, before making his single-seater debut just three years later. He won a further title in European Formula Abarth and finished runner up in the Italian Formula Abarth in the same year. By 2012, he was taking race wins in Auto GP and Formula 3.
He was signed as Sauber F1 test driver at the age of 19 and quickly impressed in his GP2 debut season in 2015, with a race win and five podiums to his name. His second season saw him score two race victories and finish third in the overall standings, as well as being handed a second F1 testing contract, with Renault. The Russian driver was signed by Williams F1 to a race seat for the 2018 season, where he was able to score a maiden F1 point score at Monza.
“Formula E is now one of the most rapidly developing championships. The competition here is at very high level. More manufacturers are entering the series as they are confident that electric cars have strong future potential. More technical solutions appear in these cars and they are progressing rapidly. I drove a Formula E car in 2016 but now the car generation has changed it will be interesting to see the difference. I’m looking forward to this great experience”, said the 23-year-old.
Dejonghe started out in indoor karting at the age of seven before stepping up to the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup in 2010. A year later – in his rookie season – he became the 2011 European F3 Open Championship Cup Vice-Champion. Following his success in his early single-seater career, he has also learned to adapt his driving style to compete in sportscar, taking part in in multiple GT and Prototype series since then.
Dejonghe then took on the role as simulator and development driver for Mahindra Racing in November 2017. In his first year with Mahindra Racing the Belgian driver has been exposed to international race tracks, taking his professional racing career to another level and the rookie test in Marrakesh will see him taking part for the second time in an official all teams test day.
“There’s no better way to start 2019 than being able to jump into the new Gen2 Formula E car. With my simulation experience it will be nice to get some real time correlation and see how much I’ve advanced in Formula E. The goal for the rookie test is simple; I want to help the team develop a race winning car as soon as possible by providing them with the best possible feedback”, he explained.