Formula E Season 2 - The Drivers So Far

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    fe.jpg With the second season of the all-electric FIA Formula E season due to start in Bejing in 7 days time, RaceDepartment takes a look at some of the protagonists due to line up on the grid in China.

    When Season 1 ended with a bang around the streets of London's Battersea Park Street Circuit back in June, attention soon turned to what the new all electric series had in store for its follow up effort beginning next week at the Bejing Olympic Green Circuit in China.

    Its been a busy off season for the championship with a number of announcements regarding updates to series rules and regulations, not least the ability for teams if they wish to develop their own power units opening up a variety of different solutions. Nick Heidfeld, driving for Mahindra gave some idea of the scope of the series regulations during pre season testing at Donington Park “I think we have everything from no gears up to four gears and some people have two engines and some have one,” said Heidfeld. “When the regulations are opened it’s very interesting – unlike other series where the regulations are the same for a long time and everybody arrives at the perfect solution. Here it’s open and it’s new and it’s cool to see so many different approaches.”

    Formula E also operates as an 'open championship', allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing powertrains and battery technology, with the aim of this filtering into the everyday electric vehicle market.

    2014-15 Virgin Racing Driver, and former Toro Rosso Grand Prix entrant Jaime Alguersuari announced his retirement from motorsport aged 25 back at the start of October, joining fellow Grand Prix driver and Formula E racer Jarno Trulli in retirement during the off season. Other notable drivers who failed to make the grid after last season include Karun Chandhok, Loic Duval, Scott Speed and Oriol Servia.

    A number of exciting additions to the series have already been announced for the upcoming title race, including 1997 Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, son of Ferrari legend and multiple Grand Prix winner Giles. Simona de Silvestro makes her full time debut for Andretti Formula E having contested rounds 10 & 11 last year as well as Britain's 2006 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner and Le Mans 24h Class winner Oliver Turvey.

    Returning favourite Bruno Senna once again lines up for the Indian Mahindra Racing Formula E Team alongside new teammate, and former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld. Other famous offspring include the returning Nicolas Prost, accomplished GT driver and pre season championship favourite once again partners RedBull Racings' Swiss start Sebastian Buemi.

    Pre season testing at Donington Park suggests that the upcoming season could well turn out to be a classic with as many as 10 drivers in with a realistic shout of taking the Championship honours at the end of the season.

    The full list of drivers and teams already confirmed for the upcoming season can be found below:

    ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
    Lucas di Grassi
    Daniel Abt

    Andretti Formula E Team
    Simona de Silvestro
    Robin Frijns

    Dragon Racing
    Jerome D'Ambrosio
    Loic Duval

    DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team
    Sam Bird
    Jean-Eric Vergne

    Renault e.dams
    Nicolas Prost
    Sebastien Buemi

    Mahindra Racing Formula E Team
    Bruno Senna
    Nick Heidfeld

    NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team
    Nelson Piquet
    Oliver Turvey

    Team Aguri
    Antonio Felix da Costa
    Nathanael Berthon

    Trulli Formula E Team
    Vitantonio Liuzzi
    Salvador Duran

    Venturi Formula E Team
    Stéphane Sarrazin
    Jacques Villeneuve

    With several drivers in with a shout of wins and podiums, who do you think will end the 2015-16 FIA Formula E season on the top step of the rostrum?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2015
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  2. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell

    If the pre-season is any indication, the smart money would be on Lucas di Grassi to win the title. Still, FEISAR-er, Renault e.Dams look very strong, and I can't help but think Sebastien Buemi will win out. Then again, I overlooked Nelson Piquet last year, and he just drove smart all year and got the job done.

    I'm extremely intrigued by this year's rookie class. Jacques Villeneuve adds a lot of credibility as a former WDC, but he hasn't raced a full season of anything in a decade, spending much of the last few years firing off several incendiary "hot takes" about F1 while bouncing between NASCAR, V8SC, WRX, and a rather forgettable Indy 500 return. Driverone Venturi may be a bit better than Jarno Trulli was in his last stand, but I'm not expecting too much out of the gate.

    Robin Frijns (note to self: "FRIH-ns", not "FRY-ns") has an amazing pedigree in single-seaters, and came within LESS THAN A SECOND of winning the Blancpain GT title as a sports car rookie. He jumps into anything and almost immediately succeeds. But can he manage energy over a race distance - something that he's never had to do in FBMW, Eurocup FR2.0, FR3.5, GP2, or Blancpain GT? It's a weakness that caught Jean-Eric Vergne out several times last season.

    Simona de Silvestro, what else is there to say. Gutsy, aggressive, easily the fastest woman in racing today. Has not had the results in 2015 across IndyCar, Formula E, and the Bathurst 1000 that she may have hoped. It's more realistic that she'll be slower than Frijns for most of the season, but I can't count Simona out of a tough fight.

    Personally, I like Oliver Turvey the most of the rookie class. He has beaten many of the more prolific young talents in racing while driving in British F3, FR3.5, and GP2, he's been part of JOTA Sport and their amazing Le Mans efforts in LMP2 for the last two years - including the winning entry in 2014 - and he's a Super GT driver. He was excellent in London last season. He's way better than just being McLaren's seldom-used test driver. If NEXTEV has a solid powertrain for him and Nelsinho Piquet, I wouldn't put a title bid past him.

    That just leaves Nathanael Berthon, whose junior formula career is nowhere near as prolific as that of Turvey, certainly not as prolific as Frijns. He's had a journeyman's career that's taken him to modest success in GP2 and European Le Mans Series - albeit with some very under-resourced teams. Which means being with Team Aguri will feel familiar - Berthon once again in the underdog role. From what I know, he's a very personable character, which is always good.

    I'll be curious to see how they all fare in Beijing in a week.
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  3. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Premium

    Have you seen the official poster for the Beijing E-Prix? :roflmao:
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  4. Rob


  5. Rob


    That would be great to have a live dragon chasing you with fire and all. Massive motivation to improve your lap times. And there really would be thunder from the screams within the cockpit.

    And Holy Hell. Great article BTW...I'd have to say this is the most impressive and diverse lineup of talent I have seen in a long long time. Many of these guys (and girl) can race anything anywhere.
  6. MoerasGrizzly



    It actually reminds me of Trackmania

    This is a good thing :D
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