Silly season: how are Formula E teams set so far?

A bit more than two months away from the new season beginning, the Formula E grid is almost complete

Teams and drivers changes for Formula E’s 7th season began even before 2019/20 ended. It all started with Pascal Wehrlein surprising everyone by trading Mahindra for Porsche. After him, Sam Bird, Daniel Abt and Alexander Sims were others who moved the chessboard of the series.

The category is in countdown to the pre-season in Valencia (on the end of November), so it is worth seeing how the teams are preparing for the new challenge.

AUDI
After the turbulence caused by Daniel Abt’s departure, Audi recovered during the final rounds of the season. René Rast’s quick adaptation to the category assured him the official driver position for the team next year.

Lucas di Grassi is going to the seventh season for the team. In search of the second championship, the Brazilian intends to recover from his worst year, a fifth place overall. Although he was one of only three drivers to complete all rounds in season 6, the car’s lack of pace took him out of the competition for the championship.

Even so, Audi always presents itself as one of the favorites for the title.

BMW
Newly announced Jake Dennis shows BMW’s bold bet for next year, the pair of young drivers can surprise.

Jake is 23 years old, has raced the DTM and is a Red Bull simulator driver in Formula 1. Max Guenther goes to his 3rd season in Formula E, but has already shown he can be combative.

Is he experienced enough to lead the team to the title? Will BMW be able to keep the pace until the end?

DRAGON
Dragon is the only team that hasn’t confirmed any drivers for next season. The poor performance in recent years may be affecting the negotiation with new names. The team needs someone who can help them to rebuild themselves and the ones who arrived in 2019 may not be able to do it.

Brendon Hartley jumped ship while the season was suspended. Nico Müller, also a rookie, was not able to contribute that much. Sérgio Sette Câmara, Hartley’s replacement, was the one who showed the best performance during his participation in the Berlin season finale.

But nothing is defined yet. I wonder what’s coming.

JAGUAR
Jaguar’s new pair of drivers is one of the strongest in the whole grid. Sam Bird and Mitch Evans together certainly is a combination that imposes a lot of respect, but Jaguar still has a lot of improvements to do.

The loss of performance of the car during the final races of the season basically made the team disappear, not only from the dispute for the title (Mitch Evans was the vice-leader of the championship), but also from the competition itself, since they got only the 7th place among constructors.

Bird moved from home to be champion, do you think he will succeed?

MAHINDRA
After a very troubled year, Mahindra is another team that seeks redemption. The bet on Pascal Wehrlein didn’t work out and, still during the season interruption, the driver ended up leaving the Indian team to join Porsche. Jerome D’Ambrosio recently announced his retirement and is now the Venturi’s Deputy director.

The only driver confirmed so far is Alex Sims, who came from BMW. Alex Lynn performed very well during the Berlin season finale, but has not yet been guaranteed as an official driver. The international press even vented that Romain Grosjean would have tested the team’s simulator, but apparently it was just rumor.

Dillbagh Gill still hasn’t shown his second card, do you have any guesses?

MERCEDES
The first on our list that kept last year’s driver pair. After an impressive (but surprising) second place among the constructors in season 6, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries remain in the team for the new challenge.

Dispite a cautious speech, Mercedes’ goal is clearly to repeat the brand’s exceptional performance in Formula 1. The main bet of the team led by Ian James is the new powertrain built by the team itself.

Expectations has been created. Are you #TeamMercedes or not?

Formula E grid

NIO
If there is one team that is desperately trying to change their course in Formula E, it is Nio. In free fall since season 4, the team bitterly took the last place in the championship again without winning any points.

Oliver Turvey remains faithful to the team and goes to the 7th consecutive year with them. His teammate is still a mystery though. The second seat is likely to be fullfilled either by Ma Qing Hua or Daniel Abt, but judging by the performance of the two of them, Abt has a big advantage. But we also need to know if he wants to be part of this project, let’s say, challenging.

Nio has done a great restructuring in the last months, staff changes and a new power train are among the biggest changes. Will it work now?

NISSAN
Runners-up in season 6, the Nissan had a very difficult start back then and took a long time to recover after its main innovation (the twin engine) was considered illegal by FIA. Even so, the Japanese team showed that they still have a lot of strength to compete.

So much so that they are the second of the three teams that maintained the same drivers pair for this year. Sebastien Buemi and, the now race winner, Oliver Rowland return for another fight for Nissan.

Are they strong enough for that?

PORSCHE
The rookiest of the rookies didn’t do bad in their debut. The already expected mistakes made didn’t hinder the image of the team that came out strong and able to integrate the middle of the grid, despite having finished the championship in 8th place.

Andre Lotterer remains in the team and now has Pascal Wehrlein in the garage next door. Surely two drivers to keep an eye on.

TECHEETAH
Talking about pairs to keep an eye on, Techeetah had very interesting collisions inside and outside the pits. The all-powerful team now is two-time champion of constructors and has two champion drivers. If things continue as they are, this configuration will not fall apart so soon.

Jean-Eric Vergne had a very uneven performance and promises maximum effort to come back where he was. However, it’s not going to be easy because Antonio Félix da Costa has to take advantage of his good moment to stay on top.

The team with the strongest pair on the grid [?] will certainly have all the spotlights on them.

VENTURI
The end of the unprofitable partnership with Felipe Massa does not seem to have shaken Venturi that much. The team principal, Susie Wolff, works incessantly to structure the team and make it able to climb the grid.

For this, besides having Jerome D’Ambrosio as Deputy-director, she also counts on Norman Nato, the test driver has been promoted and will now be team mate of Edoardo Mortara, who will go to the fourth season with the team of Monaco.

Let’s see what the future holds for Susie and her troupe.

VIRGIN
Virgin got a hard punch with Sam Bird leaving the team. The British team decided to seek a new way to compete in Formula E in the youth and talent of Nick Cassidy.

It is likely that the they will have a questionable performance next season if Cassidy takes time to adapt to the competition and Robin Frijns maintains the bad performance and the discouragement of 2019/20.

Repeating the 4th place overall may be the fate of the team. Maybe.

The Formula E pre-season will take place in Valencia at the end of November and you can follow all the preparations here in the Boletim do Paddock.

Article originally posted on 07/11/2020 on boletimdopaddock.com

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