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After failing to gain seats on the Formula 1 grid for 2018, Antonio Giovinazzi and Paul di Resta have turned to Formula E with both taking part in the test in Marrakesh following the upcoming e-Prix.

Giovinazzi is set to continue as Ferrari's third driver and become the reserve at Alfa Romeo Sauber after the Scuderia was unable to convince either Haas, with whom the Italian completed several practice outings last year, or the Swiss outfit who maintained Marcus Ericsson alongside Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc.

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As for Di Resta, he was among the names considered to replace Felipe Massa following a strong stand-in appearance in Hungary last season but ultimately, that seat is now likely to be given to Sergey Sirotkin.

The Scot will drive for Jaguar Racing while the former GP2 runner-up will be behind the wheel of a DS Virgin Racing machine. Other notable names taking part include F2 driver Nyck de Vries, former McLaren tester Gary Paffett and Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of double F1 champion Emmerson.

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With a month to go until Round Three of the FIA Formula E Championship in Marrakesh, DTM driver Nico Muller and Formula 2's Nyck de Vries will take part in the rookie test with Audi Sport Abt Shaeffler following the main race.

“This mid-season test is a unique opportunity. Nico and Nyck are going to drive our e-tron FE04 for a number of test kilometres which will give them a good initial impression of the car and the things that are special in Formula E,” says Allan McNish, Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

With experience in the German DTM series as part of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, it will be Muller's first time behind the wheel of an all-electric Formula E car.

With 64 starts, four podiums and one victory already to his name in the DTM series, all eyes will be on the driver for his debut in Formula E. “I’ve been watching Formula E as a fan for quite some time but, unfortunately, only on television,” he said.

"When I visit ABT Sportsline the Formula E race car is often parked alongside my DTM car – that’s when I fancy driving it, so I’m all the more excited about this opportunity.”

Alongside Muller will be experienced single seater racer Nyck de Vries. Having made a name for himself in the karting world, becoming part of the McLaren young driver programme in 2010, de Vires made the jump to Formula Renault 2.0, where he was awarded the title of ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2015.

Earlier this year, de Vires joined the FIA Formula 2 Championship, teaming up with the Italian Rapax squad.

“Nico already belongs to the Audi family and we’ve been closely watching Nyck’s career in recent years. Both have their roots in single-seater racing and will no doubt manage well,” said team boss Alan McNish.

The rookie test will be held on Sunday, January 14 at Circuit International Automobile Moulay el Hassan in Marrakesh. Reigning champion Lucas di Grassi will be on hand as an instructor to provide the two newcomers with valuable advice.

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Twenty drivers new to the world of the electric racing will take to the track in Marrakesh on Sunday, 14 January, for a day of rookie testing around the challenging Moroccan street circuit. .

The test follows the third round of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship taking place on 13 January.

The closed test is exclusively for drivers who have never held an eLicence, and the exciting mix of rising talent and proven top-flight drivers demonstrates how the ecosystem and appeal of Formula E continues to increase around the world.

The drivers will surely be looking to learn all they can about piloting the unique FIA Formula E Championship cars, with the test run over two sessions across the day and each driver allowed one new set of tyres and a used set of tyres for the duration.

View the full driver line-up for the rookie test below:



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Four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has slapped down the rise of the all-electric Formula E series, claiming it is not highly regarded by those in motorsport.

The championship recent began its fourth season, with Sam Bird and Felix Rosenqvist winning a double-header this past weekend in Hong Kong. In that time it has become perhaps the most attractive place for manufacturer entries with the likes of Audi, Renault, Jaguar, Citroen and more all involved with Mercedes and Porsche joining in 2019.

Yet in its current form, with two cars needed to complete a race and a level of performance comparable to a Formula 3 car, the series doesn't impress Vettel.

"To me, this is not the future," the German told Swiss newspaper Blick. "E-mobility is currently very popular in the world but anyone who is honest and identifies with motor racing does not think much of Formula E."

The grid is largely comprised of WEC and former F1 drivers have taken to Formula E to compete with the first three champions, Nelson Piquet Jr., Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi, all once members of the F1 grid.

And though publicly they claim the driving style needed and the risk of racing on street circuits make for a good challenge, Vettel claimed: "The cars are not very fast and many drivers who drive there tell me that the driving is not very exciting."

Given the current battle going on over the future of F1, it will be interesting to see how the future of Formula E develops with Nico Rosberg linked to the Mercedes project and Felipe Massa admitting his interest after previously testing with Jaguar.