Leclerc's brother secures Venturi FE rookie test

Leclerc's brother secures Venturi FE rookie test
By AutoSport

06/01/2019 at 01:06

The Venturi ABB FIA Formula E team will field Arthur Leclerc - younger brother of 2019 Ferrari Formula 1 racer Charles Leclerc - alongside Norman Nato at the Marrakech rookie test.

Leclerc is a member of Venturi's 'Next Gen' development scheme and was the first driver to sample its VFE-05 Gen2 car during the private manufacturer testing period in early 2018.

He also drove the team's Gen1 challenger at the Ales circuit in southern France last year.

"I'm honoured to be selected by Venturi and as a Monegasque, it's particularly special for me," said Leclerc.

"I will dedicate myself completely to the team in their quest to optimise the Venturi VFE-05 and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to drive this outstanding car again.

"Formula E is a pioneering, inventive and young championship, and one in which I am very keen to play an active part.

"I'm fortunate to be involved in it at such an early stage in my career and I want to thank Gildo [Pastor, Venturi president] and Susie [Wolff, team principal] for believing in me."

Last season was Leclerc's first in car racing following a truncated karting career.

He finished fifth in the 2018 French Formula 4 championship with two wins and one pole position.

"Arthur has shown promise in karting and F4 and I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets on in Marrakesh," said Wolff.

"Both he and Norman, alongside Simona [de Silvestro, Venturi test driver], will both play a very valuable role at this early stage of the season where critical development can take place.

"We took home some key learnings in Ad Diriyah, we have plenty of work ahead over the coming races, rookie tests like these give the team important opportunities to improve."

Nato is Venturi's reserve driver for the 2018/19 season. His participation in the Marrakech test that follows this month's race was revealed with his new role was announced in December.

Juncadella and Marciello to test for HWA

Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello will drive in the Marrakech test for HWA.

Juncadella, the Mercedes-affiliate squad's test and development driver, will get his second FE outing of the campaign.

He drove HWA's Venturi-powered car in place of Stoffel Vandoorne on the final day of pre-season testing at Valencia.

Marciello's appearance in Marrakech will be the first time he has driven an FE car.

The 2018 Blancpain GT Sprint Cup champion has long been linked with HWA and is a regular Mercedes sportscar driver.

"We are pleased to announce Raffaele and Daniel as our test drivers for Marrakech," said HWA team principal Ulrich Fritz.

"Raffaele has been closely associated with our team for a long time. In recent years, he has shown his class in GT racing.

"Prior to that, he was European Formula 3 champion with one of our engines in 2013.

"With his experience, I am confident that he will provide us with valuable input at the test.

"The same obviously goes for our official test and development driver, Dani."