Panasonic Jaguar Racing have signed Nelson Piquet Jr. to drive alongside Mitch Evans for the 2017-18 season.
The inaugural Formula E champion makes the switch to the British squad after two disappointing seasons at NIO, where he struggled to repeat the form of his title winning season.
Although Jaguar’s debut season also saw them struggle as they finished last in the team’s championship, Piquet clearly believes the resources of the British car maker are a better bet for getting a car capable of challenging at the front of the grid.
The Brazilian replaces Adam Carroll, who will now be looking for a new drive after he failed to live up to the performances of team-mate Evans.
Speaking about his new team Piquet said, “It’s a great honour to join Panasonic Jaguar Racing. Jaguar has such a strong history in motorsport and it’s an exciting time to become part of the team.
“Their commitment to electric motorsport is inspiring and I’m looking forward to working with the team.”
Evans meanwhile was delighted to have his good form from last season rewarded with an extension, saying, “After such a great season it’s fantastic to be continuing with Panasonic Jaguar Racing in season four. As a team, we are moving in the right direction, and I can’t wait for the kick off in Hong Kong.”
The signing of Piquet is a strong show of intent from Jaguar, but despite this their Team Principal James Barclay said his expectations were limited to simply be ‘regularly competing for points’.
Barclay said, “We are hugely excited to have Nelson on board for season four. Mitch was one of the outstanding rookies of the season with some great qualifying and race performances.
“With our new driver line-up we are aiming to be a strong challenger on the grid, regularly competing for points. We have taken a lot of learnings from season three and the team have been working extremely hard throughout the off-season, focusing on the design and development of the new Jaguar I-TYPE 2.”
The team made the announcement at the launch of their season two challenger, the I-TYPE II.
It will run the logos of new sponsors, GKN and Viessmann, with Ho-Pin Tung retained as the team’s third driver.