2018-19 FORMULA E DRIVER RANKINGS: PART TWO

by Scott Douglas

We continue our review of the 2018-19 Formula E season with our countdown of the best and worst drivers. You can read the first half of the review here.


11. Daniel Abt | seventh | 95 points

Credit: Audi

Head-to-head (Di Grassi), Qualifying: 7-6, Race: 6-7

It was another year good year for Daniel Abt – proving once again that he is more than a match for team-mate Lucas di Grassi on his day. Not only did he narrowly out-qualify him over the course of the year, their race results were evenly matched as well. However the German would be disappointed his performances didn’t translate into more silverware. After two wins last season Abt could only manage two third place finishes throughout the year, while di Grassi was able to take victories in Berlin and Mexico. He’ll be hoping for more in 2019-20.


10. Pascal Wehrlein | twelfth | 58 points

Wehrlein could partake in IndyCar races and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019, alongside Formula E.
Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (D’Ambrosio), Qualifying: 8-3, Race: 5-6

It was an impressive debut year from Wehrlein. He seemed to get to grips with all-electric racing early on, with a second place in Santiago proving that. His qualifying performances particularly stood out, with five super pole shootout appearances resulting in three front row starts. While the race pace wasn’t always there, he was stifled by a Mahindra Racing car that became less competitive as the year went on, but to match a proven winner in Jerome D’Ambrosio straight off the bat bodes well for the future.


9. Sam Bird | ninth | 85 points

Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (Frijns), Qualifying: 6-6, Race: 7-6

Sam Bird continued his remarkable record of having won a race in every season of Formula E so far, and after two podiums in the first three races, many were rightly thinking that this could be the year that he finally won his first title. After his win in Santiago however, things went downhill. He struggled in qualifying by having to go out in the first group on a dirty track, leaving him having to make up a lot of places during the race, and although he ended the season with three super pole appearances by then it was too late.


8. Antonio Felix da Costa | sixth | 99 points

Antonio Felix Da Costa - BMW I-Andretti Motorsport - 2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix
Credit: BMW Media Group

Head-to-head (Sims), Qualifying: 6-7, Race: 8-5

After their strong pace in testing BMW i Andretti Motorsport came into the season as favourites, and halfway through the Marrakesh ePrix that status seemed even more justified. Da Costa had secured a comfortable victory in Ad Diriyah, and the team were sitting first and second in Morocco. The clash between the two that followed as Da Costa out-braked himself while defending from Alexander Sims wrecked not only that race, but it was a huge blow to da Costa’s title bid. He was unlucky to have a sixth place taken away from him in Monaco for power usage, and if it weren’t for that he could have challenged Jean-Eric Vergne at the top. Despite this though it was a solid season for the Portuguese who now looks set to join Vergne next season at Techeetah.


7. Stoffel Vandoorne | sixteenth | 35 points

Stoffel Vandoorne - HWA Racelab - 2019 Rome ePrix - Race
Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (Paffett), Qualifying: 9-4, Race: 6-5

No one knew what to expect from Vandoorne as he entered Formula E. His stellar junior career has been followed by a demoralising stint in Formula 1, so it was great to see the Belgian bounce back with such a strong debut season. The HWA Racelab car was not the most competitive, especially at the beginning of the season, yet Vandoorne dragged it into four super pole shootouts and two front row starts. His podium in Rome was also immensely impressive, and Mercedes will be delighted to have him on board when they take over the team next season.


6. Oliver Rowland | tenth | 71 points

Oliver Rowland at start of Bern ePrix
Credit: Nissan NISMO Media Library

Head-to-head (Buemi), Qualifying: 5-8, Race: 4-7

Drafted in as a last minute replacement for the Scuderia Toro Rosso bound Alex Albon, Rowland did an admirable job in his first full season in Formula E. He kept on the pace of former champion Sebastien Buemi, and secured three pole positions throughout the season. The only disappointment was that he wasn’t able to convert any of these into a victory, but the lack of race pace in the Nissan e.dams became a theme as the season went on. There were a few bumps along the way, such as his collision with Sims in Paris, but on the whole an encouraging start.


5. Lucas di Grassi | third | 108 points

Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (Abt), Qualifying: 6-7, Race: 7-6

It wasn’t a vintage year from di Grassi, which shows you the class of the man as he still managed to finish third in the championship and was in the title hunt right up until the last race. Another slow start from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler saw both drivers struggle in the first two races, but the Brazilian eventually got on top of the car and his last gasp win in Mexico is something that will live long in the memory. Another win eventually followed in Berlin, but lack of one lap pace often meant he was having to fight through the field. Expect him and Audi to be stronger next year.


4. Robin Frijns | fourth | 106 points

Robin Frijns - Envision Virgin Racing - Paris ePrix
Credit: Envision Virgin Racing

Head-to-head (Bird), Qualifying: 6-6, Race: 6-7

After cruelly losing his drive at Andretti after the BMW takeover, it was welcome to see Robin Frijns given a second chance at Envision Virgin Racing for this season. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, winning his first race in the series in Paris, before following it up with a second win at the final round in New York. Two other podiums saw him outscore his highly rated team-mate Sam Bird, but a poor run of four races without a point in between his two victories scuppered any chance he had at going for the title.


3. Sebastien Buemi | second | 119 points

Credit: Nissan

Head-to-head (Buemi), Qualifying: 8-5, Race: 7-4

The relief on Sebastien Buemi’s face after he won the first round of the New York ePrix was clear to see, as he snapped a two year streak without a victory. It had been coming as well. Buemi had consistently put his Nissan e.dams at the front end of the grid, but the lack of race pace in the car saw him drop back. In fact, Buemi qualified for the super pole shootout eleven out of twelve times (after the one in Ad Diriyah was abandoned) and secured three pole positions in what was the most impressive displays of one lap pace in the history of the series. Mistakes in Santiago and Hong Kong were slight blights on his copybook, but in the end his runners-up spot in the championship was well deserved.


2. Mitch Evans | fifth | 105 points

Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (PiquetJr/Lynn), Qualifying: 8-5, Race: 12-1

Mitch Evans continues to go from strength to strength in Formula E. In a year when Panasonic Jaguar Racing said their goal was regular points scoring finishes, Evans blew those expectations out of the water with three podiums and a first victory in Rome. His constant and humbling outperforming of former champion Nelson Piquet Jr saw the Brazilian ditched from the team halfway through the season, and he put similar manners on Alex Lynn in the last six races. Given his pace it wouldn’t be a surprise if both he and Jaguar were upgrading their targets next season to include a title tilt.


1. Jean-Eric Vergne | first | 136 points

Credit: Formula E

Head-to-head (Lotterer), Qualifying: 10-3, Race: 9-4

As the first driver to win back-to-back titles in Formula E, who else could be ranked as the best driver of the year? After a rough start saw him have three non-points finishes in a row, Vergne went up another level, becoming the first man to win more than one race this season in Monaco, and adding a third win in Bern two races later. The fact that he also dismantled a highly rated team-mate in Andre Lotterer showed the high level that the Frenchman is performing at. With the team seemingly getting stronger with new partner DS Motorsports, you wouldn’t discount him on making it three in a row next season.


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