Formula E pre-season testing list revealed

by Nathan Hine
Envision Virgin Racing demo run

The entry list has been revealed ahead of official pre-season testing for the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia tomorrow. Pre-season testing will be the first time the 22 Gen-2 cars will be out on track at the same time and will help to gauge who has done the best job in developing the all-new cars.

This season will see HWA Racelab join the grid, with the German team coming into the all-electric racing series one campaign prior to a full factory Mercedes outfit will enter the sport. HWA will be running their announced driver line-up of 2018 DTM Series Champion Gary Paffett and current McLaren-Renault Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne. The Belgian will only be able to test for the first two days, with Dani Juncadella filling in for him on day three, as Vandoorne required for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Nissan e.dams will also being making their on-track debut on Tuesday, with the Japanese squad replacing treble-team champions Renault with Sebastien Buemi and Alexander Albon testing throughout.

BMW will be coming on-board with Andretti this season with the all-new BMW i Andretti Motorsport squad, featuring Formula E race winner Antonio Felix Da Costa and rookie racer Alexander Sims.

The DS Techeetah squad will be a fascinating partnership to keep an eye on this year, with defending series champion Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer returning to the Chinese-based team. But after the independent outfit shocked everyone last season, since New York they have signed with DS Performance in a bid to take it the fight to Audi in the upcoming campaign to capture both titles this time.

Envision Virgin Racing will be the only independent team on the grid with the British squad using Audi powertrains for the 2018-19 Formula E campaign which Sam Bird and series returnee Robin Frijns will hope to use to good effect this season. Having an unknown package will make it crucial that the race drivers can work well throughout testing to have a solid campaign.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing have retained their line-up of season one champion Nelson Piquet JR and New Zealander Mitch Evans with the Midlands-based squad hoping to achieve regular podium finishes this season after making impressions throughout the 2017-18 season. This will start with the pair testing this week in a bid for better performance and results.

NIO Formula E Team will be fielding race drivers Oliver Turvey and Tom Dillmann for the upcoming 2018-19 Formula E Championship with the duo hopeful that the Chinese-based team can return to winning ways after a difficult couple of seasons.

GEOX Dragon Racing have confirmed Jose Maria Lopez as one of their drivers for the upcoming campaign, who will lead the Dragon charge this season with the Argentine occupying the number #7 car throughout testing. In the other car, the Dragon Formula E squad will be evaluating the performances of Formula 2 racers Maximilian Gunther and Antonio Fuoco, who will share driving duties throughout testing, with one of these likely to occupy the second drive this season.

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be favourites again this season and will head into testing fielding the solid and consistent pairing of Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt, who claimed the team’s title after four wins between them in the 2017-18 ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign. The German squad will be looking to build on their success of last season in a new era of all-electric racing, with strong foundations in testing this week.

Venturi Formula E Team may attract the biggest attention of all, with fan-favourite ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa making his public on-track Formula E debut with team-mate for the season, Edoardo Mortara joining him in the other car. The Monegasque-based team have high hopes for the upcoming season but will start with hard work at the Valencia-based track.

Mahindra Racing are the only team not to announce their line-up as of yet with Felix Rosenqvist having signed with Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series in 2019, and Nick Heidfeld announcing that he didn’t expect to be racing this season. There are reports that Jerome d’Ambrosio will move to the team with Pascal Wehrlein rumoured to fill the other seat, but the Indian team are yet to confirm this.

Formula E pre-season testing will get underway at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on Tuesday 16 October, Wednesday 17 October and Friday 19 October before the season kicks off on 15 December for the Riyadh ePrix.

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