The FIA’s new electric Formula E championship launches in 2014.
2014 Formula E Teams and Drivers
8th January 2014, 9:26 at 9:26 am #242258
Formula E has announced a “drivers’ club” which includes five ex-F1 drivers who have “committed to the new scheme, giving their official endorsement to the championship together with their willingness to race in the future”.
The drivers are:
Ma Qing Hua
Lucas di Grassi
Press release below:
The FIA Formula E Championship has today revealed the first eight drivers to show their support for the new fully-electric race series by signing up to its official Formula E Drivers’ Club.
Sebastien Buemi, Marco Andretti, Karun Chandhok, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Adrien Tambay, Ma Qing Hua, Lucas di Grassi and Takuma Sato have all committed to the new scheme, giving their official endorsement to the championship together with their willingness to race in the future. The new scheme will also give them the opportunity to experience track time in new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car, designed by Spark Racing Technologies together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara, McLaren, Williams, Renault and Michelin.
”We’re delighted to be starting the New Year, which of course is a very important one for Formula E, on such a positive note by announcing our new Drivers’ Club,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promoters Formula E Holdings. “From the very beginning, we have set out to deliver great racing to fans across the globe and to do that you need high calibre drivers. Now that we’ve announced all 10 teams, everyone is keen to find out who the drivers will be. Of course, we cannot confirm any drivers just yet as it will be down to the individual teams to select who fills their seats. However, we hope by offering them a ‘pool’ of top international drivers to choose from – all of whom support the new series – we can deliver on this promise of providing close, entertaining racing in city-centres around the world. We also hope it will showcase to fans, TV broadcasters and potential sponsors the high profile names Formula E is attracting and the level of drivers they can expect to see race come September.”
Of the first eight names, Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi, Indian driver Karun Chandhok, Italy’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, Lucas di Grassi from Brazil and Japanese driver Takuma Sato have all previously raced in Formula One, while China’s Ma Qing Hua has been a test driver for both HRT and Caterham F1. Meanwhile, USA racer Marco Andretti – son of the legendary Michael Andretti – is one of IndyCar’s top drivers finishing fifth in the 2013 standings, while Frenchman Adrien Tambay has raced in Formula 3, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5 and more recently DTM. A further 10 drivers will be revealed over the coming weeks via the championship’s official website http://www.fiaformulae.com.
“I’m very happy to be a part of the new Formula E Drivers’ Club,” said Sebastien Buemi. “Motorsport should be seen to be the leader in developing and pushing new sustainable technologies so it will be great to see how this will influence not only motorsport but future road cars and the environment. The calendar is very strong and brings the racing to the fans, and the new Formula E car looks like it will be a lot of fun to drive.”
Marco Andretti said: “This revolutionary racing series, paired with some of the world’s best drivers, competing in top cities, will set a new standard for motorsport. The advanced technology is exciting. I’m not entirely sure what to expect but, for me, that is the most interesting part of this experience – the unknown factor. I’m looking forward to the growth and development of Formula E and am happy to be named as part of the Drivers’ Club. I’m really looking forward to getting into the cockpit of one of these cars.”
Karun Chandhok said: “Alejandro Agag has been a friend of mine for a number of years since our time in GP2. I’ve been speaking with him since the early days of Formula E and I’m very happy to be a part of the Drivers’ Club for the series. The calendar looks great, as do the cars and it should be a great new way to go motor racing.”
Takuma Sato added: “I am very excited to be a part of the Drivers’ Club for the development of the Formula E cars. This series provides a huge potential for the future of motor racing and electric cars. I am sure that these fascinating new innovative multimedia contents will excite the new fans who will be watching this new series.”
Today’s announcement also means that Lucas di Grassi will no longer act as the only official Formula E test driver.
Formula E is a new FIA Championship using electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. The series will compete in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities including London, Miami and Beijing. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.8th January 2014, 9:58 at 9:58 am #242259
Juan Pablo HeidfeldParticipant
Presumably Andretti will drive for Andretti, Sato for Super Aguri, Di Grassi for Virgin and Ma for China racing. Good collection of drivers though8th January 2014, 10:51 at 10:51 am #242260
Di Grassi might race for ABT Audi because he also has a connection with them.8th January 2014, 11:10 at 11:10 am #242261
Of those 8 drivers, 2 are almost certainly going to a certain team (Andretti -> Andretti, Tambay -> Abt), while a further 4 are not particularly difficult to guess (see my post on the previous page of this topic).
Which begs the question: is the driver pool for real or is it just a cover-up? Formula E pretends that these drivers haven’t been confirmed with a team yet, but to be honest I think all eight of them have already signed a contract with a certain team. Either way, I think it’s very weird.8th January 2014, 12:13 at 12:13 pm #242262
Buémi quitting Toyota then?9th January 2014, 0:32 at 12:32 am #242263
F1 Reject gang9th January 2014, 2:28 at 2:28 am #242264
Does the Formula E championship overlap with any of Buemi’s WEC races for Toyota? If not, he could race both, perhaps with Red Bull sponsorship in Formula E (for if it takes off). They now have Felix da Costa to do his simulator role if needed in the factory, too, on F1 race weekends (not likely that they will clash, of course).
Tambay moving to Formula E might also free up a spot in DTM for all these drivers that have nowhere to go (and can’t get into Formula E because these drivers are probably being picked by Agag etc. to boost the series at launch).27th January 2014, 14:20 at 2:20 pm #242265
A couple more drivers:
Lucas di Grassi
Ma Qing Hua
I’m sorry to say this, but this is quickly becoming an F1 rejects series. Just to prove my point: six of the ten listed F1 drivers have finished the F1 championship in the bottom three, while eight of them in the bottom five..
Why not exciting young talents who normally compete in series like GP2, GP3, FR2.0, FR3.5 or F3?27th January 2014, 15:22 at 3:22 pm #242266
@andae23 You mean the exciting young talents in GP2, GP3, FR2.0, FR3.5 or F3 who quickly become F1 rejects? :-D
They’re all too busy aiming for the stars anyway. I’m sure at this point they’d see Formula E as a sideways or even a downward step for them. Plenty of those ‘rejects’ still have a lot of racing to give, I’m sure. Just because F1 couldn’t handle them…27th January 2014, 15:54 at 3:54 pm #242267
@ajokay Well if you say it like that.. :P
What I meant is that in my opinion it’s more exciting to see an even mix of experienced drivers and younger drivers, so some with experience and some that still need some fine-tuning. The current driver line-up feels like a desperate attempt to make the driver line-up look good – effectively polishing a turd to the max.
Formula E is collecting an impressive list of Grand Prix rejects. I wonder if they are thinking of adding a 'Seniors' category??!! I'm ready
— Tiff Needell (@tiff_tv) January 27, 201427th January 2014, 22:16 at 10:16 pm #242268
This looks like the roster for a reboot of Champ Car.19th March 2014, 12:46 at 12:46 pm #253193
Formula E has picked up some more ex-F1 drivers including 2004 Monaco Grand Prix winner Jarno Trulli along with Nick Heidfeld and Jerome d’Ambrosio, plus former GP2 racer Sam Bird.
Formula E’s unusual ‘driver pool’ system means these drivers join a roster of “top, international names that all officially endorse the new FIA Formula E Championship and have expressed a willingness to race in the future”.
The teams will then make their driver choices from the pool.19th March 2014, 12:51 at 12:51 pm #253194
Interesting to see Trulli in there: the impression I got from him was that he was kinda done with racing. Hm.19th March 2014, 18:00 at 6:00 pm #253215
@andae23 Indeed. But this is a good addition to the roster.. looks like some of the names will miss out, unless there is swapping between rounds. I’m surprised Fabio Leimer is not there.. Di Resta and Petrov went to DTM, Calado picked up Kobayashi’s Ferrari GT drive (ahead of Bird and D’Ambrosio). Bird being there shows they’ll take GP2 guys (unless Di Resta is fully replacing Bird as Mercedes reserve).19th March 2014, 18:35 at 6:35 pm #253219
Calado may still be in – he’s doing the same races as di Grassi, Buemi and Heidfeld.
I still think they should swap drivers as well as switching cars, and make it a team relay thing.
Surely Trulli is ineligible on account of actually winning something?
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