Porsche Formula E Team has announced that Simona de Silvestro and Thomas Preining will be its test and development drivers for their upcoming 2019/20 season.
de Silvestro has previous experience in the all-electric series, competing in two races at the tail end of the first season of Formula E for the Andretti Autosport team before going on to compete full-time in season two. She also has previous experience in Formula One, having been affiliated with the Sauber team.
Preining on the other hand is a Porsche factory driver already, finishing third in last season’s Porsche Supercup category and winning the German Porsche Carrera Cup in the same year, but he hasn’t raced a single seater since 2016 when he raced in German Formula 4.
“It is a great honour to work for this prestigious brand. I am really looking forward to my new role as test and development driver for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Over the last few years, I have gained a lot of experience from my previous involvements in Formula E and I will do my best to help Porsche on the road to success.” said de Silvestro.
Porsche’s Vice President of motorsport Fritz Enzinger had plenty of positive things to say about this recent driver acquisition, citing de Silvestro’s experience and Preining’s natural talent and potential speed as the reasons for bringing them to the team.
“In Simona and Thomas, we have acquired two proven talents for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Simona comes with a wealth of experience gained in various different race series and is also a familiar face in Formula E. We are looking forward to working with her and welcome her to the Porsche family.
“Thomas has been with us since 2017, during which time he has demonstrated his talent in GT racing on numerous occasions. With the Formula E programme, we are giving Simona and Thomas the opportunity to develop as drivers and to make a positive contribution to the Porsche Formula E project.” said Enzinger.
de Silvestro has spent that last couple of seasons in the Supercar series in Australia, yielding little success, and her current contract expires at the end of 2019, and she has been linked with many roles in 2020, including full-time rides in Australia for 2020, or a return back to Europe.
It is not yet known who will be doing the running in Valencia for the beginning of pre-season testing in mid-October, but Porsche now have four drivers under contract, with race drivers Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer already being confirmed.
The 2019/20 Formula E season kicks off on 22nd November 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.