Rivals say Lopez can ‘fight for the title’


The top two drivers from this season’s Formula E championship believe that Jose Maria Lopez will be challenging for the title in his first season in the series.

The Argentinian was confirmed as replacing Jean-Eric Vergne at DS Virgin Racing for next season, and will balance driving in Formula E with his current WTCC commitments.

Although he thinks that it may take a couple of races to adjust his driving to Formula E, current champion Sebastien Buemi believes that Lopez will be able to fight for his title.

He told Autosport, “I think they can fight for the title. The team was good this season and last season with [Sam] Bird and I expect them to be good next season.”

“He will need a couple of races to adapt properly. It’s different compared to testing on your own but he won’t struggle for more than two races.”

Lopez has an impressive record in touring cars, having won the WTCC title at a canter for the last two years, and is currently sitting at the top of this year’s championship with a comfortable lead.

It is this experience that has led championship runner-up Lucas di Grassi to rate Lopez highly, and he too believes that he will add to the competitiveness of the championship.

Speaking to Autosport, di Grassi said, “I rate him very highly, he’s the best touring car driver in the world and to have a world champion come in is always good news.”

“He’s a very good addition to the championship, especially as we have a race in Argentina – he’s famous there, the best Argentinian driver in the world.”

“He’s very experienced and he’s in the prime of his career. He will be competitive, and will learn quickly.”