Former Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg will give the second-generation Formula E car its first public demonstration as part of the Berlin ePrix on Saturday May 9.

The announcement of Rosberg’s drive comes at the same time as the series revealed that the German has also committed as an investor in the championship.

The new car was physically unveiled at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, and several teams have already shaken down their season five challengers in private testing.

Rosberg’s ten-minute session prior to race start at Belin Tempelhof Airport, however, will be the first time the model will run in public. The second-generation car brings significant change to Formula E, boasting not only increased performance and radically updated styling, but also increased energy capacity – doing away with the mid-race car swap pit stops the series has used since its inception in 2014.

Having the opportunity to give the new car its first public shakedown, Rosberg shared his excitement to do so in his home nation.

“I’m really excited to get behind the wheel of the Gen2 car. It will be great to experience this high-performance e-mobility car and let’s see if I still have it in me! It makes it even more special that I’m able to do this at the Berlin E-Prix, as I’ve always loved racing in my home country – Germany,” the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion said.

Rosberg made an appearance at the opening round of the current season in Hong Kong last December, and at the time stated his desire to become further involved in the series. It seems the German fast made good on that wish, confirming he has already been an investor for a while:

“Since my retirement, I’ve become very interested in the e-mobility movement and its potential to positively impact our society and our planet. I’ve therefore also long believed in the potential of Formula E and came on board as an investor some time ago.”

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag welcomed the dual news of Rosberg’s shakedown and investment as a show of strength in the growth of the series.

“It’s a very special moment to see a new car running for the first time in public and it requires an equally special name to have that honour,” he said.

“To see a name like Rosberg taking the wheel of the Gen2 car in front of the German fans in Berlin is a great moment for the series. He’s such an incredible ambassador for world motorsport and a champion – so it’s also another fantastic endorsement for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to have Nico as an investor and shareholder of Formula E.”

While Rosberg’s demonstration will occur in May, Formula E will first begin the European leg of the championship with the inaugural Rome ePrix this Saturday, April 14.

Image via ABB FIA Formula E Championship

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Mitch Timms

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Professional motorsport engineer and all-round tech head.