Formula E down to 10 teams for Season 9 as Techeetah exits

VALENCIA CIRCUIT RICARDO TORMO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21 during the Valencia pre-season testing at Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo on Monday November 29, 2021 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Carl Bingham / LAT Images)

Following the partnership between DS & Penske for Season 9, long-time Formula E team Techeetah are expected to spend a year on the sidelines.

Reports from The Race indicate that next season will be without one of the core Formula E teams. After six years in the series, Techeetah will forgo the 2022-23, Season 9, campaign. Their recent long-time partner DS Automobiles recently entered into a new partnership with Penske to form the blockbuster DS Penske team for next season. While Techeetah has been looking for new investment to remain in Formula E we’ve apparently reached the point in the off-season where it would be too late to put all the pieces together in time for Season 9.

Techeetah’s Formula E History

Techeetah first entered the series in 2016-17 powered by a Renault engine. From the start Jean-Eric Vergne was their primary driver, finishing 9th the year before with DS Virgin Racing. He was partnered with three different drivers over the course of that first season as they looked for an ideal match with Vergne. He finished 5th in the Championship delivering five podiums, including the team’s first win in the season finale in Canada.

A debut 5th in the Teams’ Standings and a sign of the promise to come. In 2017-18 Vergne won four times as he ran away with the Championship by 54 points. With his new partner Andre Lotterer (8th) Techeetah climbed into second place in the team battle. 2018-19 would see Techeetah partner with DS, JEV win back-t0-back titles and DS Techeetah’s first Team Championship.

da Costa Arrives

The following year would see Vergne partnered with a worthy rival. Antonio Felix da Costa arrived at DS Techeetah and immediately found the partnership the perfect match. Three wins and three additional second-place finishes saw da Costa cruise to the Championship by a massive 71 points. JEV’s bid for three titles in a row would see him pick up one win and third in the final standings. But it was back-to-back Team Championships for DS Techeetah, well ahead of the competition.

While that partnership would remain for two more seasons they would not find the same level of success. da Costa and Vergne both won in Season 7 but finished 8th and 10th in the Championship. The team was 3rd the past two years as Mercedes-powered cars began to dominate the podium, but still well in contention.

Season 9

An impressive and trophy-laden history that was expected to be a part of the new Gen3 era. And while they do hope to return for 2024 (Season 10) their absence will be felt. Their withdrawal will see Formula E drop to ten teams for next season. And if those reports are true that leaves just three seats open for Season 9. McLaren’s second seat and both at Maserati. Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns on January 14th, 2023 in Mexico City.

Featured Image Credit: Carl Bingham / LAT Images