In Formula E the attention quickly turns to the driver market ahead of the start of the Gen3 era for Season 9.
Even before Stoffel Vandoorne lifted the Drivers’ Championship trophy there was one eye on next season. Formula E just completed perhaps its most exciting campaign to date. But with a new generation of race car and new teams entering the series, the driver market is in full flux. Here’s a quick rundown for each team on what we know so far. Which drivers are confirmed, which seats remain open, and what are the latest rumors?
Formula E Season 9 – Which seats are confirmed?
*Bolded drivers are confirmed.
Robin Frijns & Nico Muller
ABT returns to Formula E after a five-year absence. Back then it was Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt with back-to-back 2nd place finishes. While nothing is confirmed at the moment, Robin Frijns is expected to be their lead driver. Reports indicate that former Dragon and reserve driver Nico Muller will be announced as his partner. Given the team has yet to announce Frijns they may be waiting for a formal debut of the full team with both drivers.
Jake Dennis & TBD
After two stellar years, Jake Dennis is the team’s #1 driver as they hope to move up the team rankings in the new era. While not officially confirmed yet, Dennis likely returns to Andretti unless a big offer comes his way to join another team. There are reports he could be partnered with Andre Lotterer with Avalanche becoming a Porsche customer. Or they could opt to bring back rookie Oliver Askew who finished the season off strong with two top-five finishes in the final two weekends.
Dragon Penske Racing
Stoffel Vandoorne & Jean-Eric Vergne
Talk about an entrance. DS is partnering with Penske for the start of Gen3 and are reportingly bringing in what will likely be the best driver pairing for Season 9. Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne & two-time champion Jean-Eric Vergne are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Looking forward to seeing how Dragon debuts next season.
Nick Cassidy & Sebastien Buemi
Robin Frijns is out at Envision, despite having a very strong first half of Season 8. He is expected to be moving to the new ABT team. In his place comes the 2015-16 Formula E Champion Buemi looking to bounce back after a tough year with Nissan.
Jaguar TCS Racing
Mitch Evans & Sam Bird
After finishing fourth in the team standings, of course, the team would want to stick with their current pair. Long-term series vet Sam Bird and the winner of four E-Prix this season, Mitch Evans. Perhaps the only team keeping their driver pair heading into a season of unknown.
Oliver Rowland & Lucas di Grassi
With Alexander Sims leaving Formula E, Mahindra was looking for an experienced driver to pair with Rowland as they embark on the Gen3 era. Enter Mr. Formula E Lucas di Grassi. A pair of race winners to enter Gen3, keep an eye on Mahindra next season.
Maserati Racing (formerly ROKiT Venturi)
Edoardo Mortara & TBD
After staying in the title fight until the last round for each of the last two seasons, Mortara is among the best in Formula E at the moment. While not confirmed, with a majority of the Venturi team staying with Maserati, it would make sense to keep Mortara. But with di Grassi gone, there are reports that there is an offer to Nyck de Vries if he doesn’t land the second F1 seat at Williams. If he doesn’t remain in Formula E, they will likely look to sign available experience from the likes of Maximilian Günther, Sérgio Sette Câmara, or Norman Nato.
Neom McLaren (formerly Mercedes-EQ)
Both drivers TBD
As previously noted here at LWOS, McLaren have a lot of driver decisions to make in the coming weeks across multiple series (McLaren: Analyzing the F1, IndyCar, and Formula E seats for 2023). Vandoorne is out and it looks like de Vries will be switching to a new Formula E team if he remains in the series. With both seats open McLaren could opt to bring back Formula E vet and current IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist. The Papaya is where Maximilian Guenther might land, they could bring in former McLaren academy driver Sergio Sette Camara or former Audi ABT driver Rene Rast.
Oliver Turvey & Dan Ticktum
Both drivers most likely stay with the team. However, The Race reports that Sérgio Sette Câmara has become an option for either Turvey or Tickum’s seat. Turvey has been with the team since their origins, so unless he elects to step away from the series, that would be quite the turn. But if he did or they don’t feel as though Ticktum did enough to justify his return, Sette Camara could slot in there. The odd driver out in this equation would remain an option for the remaining teams given the value of experience as we head into Gen3.
Both drivers TBD
Sebastien Buemi has already exited for Envision. e-Formel.de is reporting that Maximilian Günther is leaving as well. An entirely new team as we enter Gen3 and for a side already struggling this season? It’s going to be a tough start for their new pair. The Race is reporting that Sacha Fenestraz will fill one of the spots. The rookie recently made his Formula E debut filling in for Antonio Giovinazzi in Seoul on the last day. If Gunther leaves they could turn to Norman Nato or one of this past season’s rookies Dan Ticktum or Oliver Askew.
TAG Heuer Porsche
Antonio Felix da Costa & Pascal Wehrlein
André Lotterer is supposedly leaving for the World Endurance Championship and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year. But there are rumors he could end up at Andretti to remain in the series. Either way, he is out at Porsche in Formula E. They’ve confirmed the winner of the 2022 Mexican E-Prix, Wehrlein, and just announced the addition of former Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa. A formidable pairing to kick off the next generation.
At the moment, Techeetah lacks the investors to continue on in Season 9. Whether that be in a version of their current form or a brand new team. Given the short turnaround to pre-season testing in December, it looks unlikely. However, Formula E is open to running 24 cars next season and there should be viable drivers remaining on the market to fill their two seats.
As future driver announcements for Season 9 are confirmed will be sure to provide updates here at Last Word on Sports.
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