A new season is upon us, decisions have been made and contracts have been signed – the line-up for Season 8 is complete. Who’s driving for which teams, who’s changed team gear and who are the new guys to watch out for?
#5: Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL)
#17: Nyck de Vries (NLD)
Reigning Teams' World Champions Mercedes-EQ has a super strong line-up once again, as it retains both Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne.
The only thing harder than winning a World Championship title is retaining one, and that challenge falls to former Formula 2 champion and now reigning ABB FIA Formula E Drivers' World Champion de Vries, who will race his third season in the championship.
“We’ll do everything we can to replicate the last season and I’m sure the others will be doing just the same. We obviously have a good shot and the whole grid is very close so we’ll see who’s done the best job at the end of it!”
Three years in-a-row for the Mercedes pairing of de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne. Everyone knows what the Belgian offers and were it not for a run-in in London, he may well have been where his teammate found himself come the final chequered flag of the season in Berlin.
#9: Mitch Evans (NZL)
#10: Sam Bird (GBR)
Jaguar heads into Season 8 off the back of its most successful season in Formula E to-date. It has a super experienced line-up of proven race winners, both of whom were in with a real shot of the title heading to the final races in Berlin last season.
READ MORE: The stage is set for Jaguar TCS Racing in Season 8
Mitch Evans saw his chances cruelly evaporate before him, thanks to a start-line technical problem and the resulting heavy shunt. He’ll be in a strong spot to challenge in 2021/22, though and he’s shown improvement year-on-year in Formula E to the point where he’s fully expected to be among the challengers.
“We’re looking for marginal gains but we’ve got a really strong package, a great team and we’re working well together. Hopefully we can go one better,” said the Kiwi.
Evans’ teammate Sam Bird is no less a contender. He’s looking stronger than ever after a move to Jaguar ahead of Season 7 and he’s the only driver to have won a race in each season to-date.
INTERVIEW: Evans on a Season 7 to be proud of, despite Berlin heartbreak
The Brit won in Diriyah on debut for the famous British marque and produced a stunning zero to hero drive in New York City after a practice shunt. A heartbreaking blank on home soil in London put Bird on the back foot and with what looked like a little too much to do in Berlin. A technical issue in Round 14 finally put paid to his title shot.
Bird starts his latest campaign in the all-electric street racing series hunting for what his ability and record dictates is an overdue maiden Drivers' title.
Antonio Felix da Costa pours over the data at testing. He'll be aiming for top spot once again in 2021/22
#13: Antonio Felix da Costa (POR)
#25: Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA)
DS had its streak of back-to-back Teams’ and Drivers’ championships halted last season when they wound up third by a single point. Heading into this season with a new team principal and some restructuring, the team will be looking to return to the top of the tree – they’re used to their spot there, after all.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa return and could arguably be regarded as the strongest line-up on the grid, with both being title winners – JEV a double champ.
The pair also have seven seasons of Formula E experience to their name alongside success elsewhere in anything from the FIA World Endurance Championship to Formula 1. They know how to win races, and they have the package to do just that.
Consistency has long been DS’ strong suit and the new qualifying format should play in their favour, with drivers being better rewarded from Season 8 for their good form.
All smiles! FIA WEC champion Robin Frijns has the tools at his disposal to add the Formula E crown to his mantelpiece
#4: Robin Frijns (NDL)
#37: Nick Cassidy (NZL)
A green car for a green grid; Envision Racing are more than familiar with the podium but the rapid privateers have yet to get their hands on the ultimate prize. They’ve got the pace and performance to do it, as Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy have shown.
With the newly-decorated FIA World Endurance Champion and a Japanese Triple Crown winner, coming off the back of an impressive rookie season, it’s a strong line-up with a proven package beneath them – Audi’s new-for-Season 7 powertrain proved to be among the most effective. Can the duo take the team to the next level, at last?
#27: Jake Dennis (GBR)
#28: Oliver Askew (USA)
It’s a new look for the Andretti squad with BMW i leaving the championship at the end of Season 7, the team welcomes Avalanche on-board as title partner with blue and white making way for red.
Avalanche Andretti's budding bromance. Title challenger Jake Dennis welcomes in rookie Oliver Askew
Dennis was undoubtedly one of the season's star drivers – and one of Formula E’s best ever rookies – outshining another young hotshot in teammate Maximilian Guenther with a victory in Valencia - where the Brit managed his energy beyond all expectations to win from the front - and another on home soil in London.
READ MORE: Jake Dennis' Season 7 beyond expectations
A technical glitch unceremoniously brought his title charge to an end in the final round. Without that, he could well have pipped Nyck de Vries to top spot. Third was mighty impressive nonetheless, and he sees no reason why he can’t go better still in Season 8.
“You know where I finished last year, so why would I say I want to finish top five like there's only one way I need to go and it's forward,” said Dennis. “I'm excited for that challenge. If we don't pull it off, then it's a shame but Nyck won it in his second year so why can’t I?”
Joining Dennis is American driver and former Indy Lights champion OIiver Askew. He’s joining the grid from a spell in IndyCar, so he’s no stranger to full-on, high intensity street racing.
It’ll be interesting to see if he can match his teammates exploits from last season in the same machinery, however different a Formula E car may be from the cars he’s been behind the wheel of before.
#11: Lucas di Grassi (BRA)
#48: Edoardo Mortara (CHE)
Porsche knows Season 8 needs to bring a first Formula E win and a concerted title effort
#36: Andre Lotterer (DEU)
#94: Pascal Wehrlein (DEU)
The German marque squares up against the best in world motorsport in Season 8, with silverware now under its belt and eyes on the top prize. Andre Lotterer is joined again by Pascal Wehrlein, forming a formidable all-German line-up.
With their rookie campaign completed, expectations kicked up a notch but Season 7 was a one of missed opportunities, with infringements costing the team its first Formula E win, via Pascal Wehrlein, in Puebla for one.
READ MORE: 'If it ain't broke!' Wehrlein and Lotterer continue at Porsche
Without the double DSQ, the German marque would have been troubling the sharp end of the standings, as both Wehrlein and teammate, three time Le Mans winner and five-year Formula E veteran, Lotterer scored consistently through a strong second half of the season. Silverware for Wehrlein in Rome and second for Lotterer in Valencia were the highlights of a season that will encourage the outfit heading into Season 8.
One in, one out: Mahindra swaps a race winning Brit in Alex Lynn for another in Oliver Rowland
#29: Alexander Sims (GBR)
#30: Oliver Rowland (GBR)
As Season 7 went on, Mahindra grew and grew. A stunning victory in London on home soil for Alex Lynn was the highlight, but he departs and another brit in Oliver Rowland joins the fold alongside Alexander Sims for 2021/22.
Sims has a race win and podiums to his name in Formula E, and Rowland joins the team having made the move from Nissan e.dams. He’s regarded as one of the quickest drivers on the grid, and a qualifying specialist who isn't afraid to get his elbows out when he needs to. He’s back with the team that gave him his first taste of Formula E back in Season 2.
INTERVIEW: Rowland on his Mahindra return
“It's been a transition getting to know everybody back at the simulator also just getting people getting friendships and building relationships,” said the Yorkshireman. “I think we've hit the ground running here and I'm pretty happy with everything. I've got a new engineer who's never done race engineering before, but he's got a lot of experience, so we're learning together and so far I'm pretty happy. We just need to keep working very hard.”
Maximilian Guenther settles into new surrounds at Nissan e.dams
#22: Maximilian Guenther (DEU)
#23: Sebastien Buemi (CHE)
Nissan e.dams knows how to build a quick race car, especially over a lap. Heading into Season 8, they may have lost the services of Oliver Rowland but they’ve picked up one of the most promising talents on the grid in Maximilian Guenther.
The rapid German brokered a deal to join the Franco-Japanese team when a seat became available and with multiple race wins to his name, he’s proven himself in battle with the most experienced of heads around him in the pack.
READ MORE: Nissan's Gen3 commitment
“It was great to be in my new team in Valencia,” he said. It’s been a cool time the last weeks assimilate and get to know everything but now we really get down to the to the real business and the car feels great. The car was immediately on a good baseline and I feel like we can really start to improve and push in the right direction.”
He joins one of the most experienced drivers on the grid in 2015/16 champion Sebastian Buemi. The Swiss is highly decorated both Formula E and as a multiple 24 Hours of Le Mans and sportscar race winner. Last season was one to forget and not something he will want to repeat, especially with a new teammate adding to the pressure.
All eyes are on Antonio Giovinazzi to see if the Formula 1 star can make the switch to Formula E work
#99: Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)
#7: Sergio Sette Camara (BRA)
DRAGON showed real signs of improvement last season, scoring more points in the opening two rounds than they had through the whole of the prior campaign.
There’s room for more, too, with an exciting new addition from Formula 1 in Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian is a rookie to electric racing and found the transition tough in Valencia – it’s not always been a smooth ride for drivers that have made that same jump.
INTERVIEW: Giovinazzi on the leap into electric racing and the Formula E cockpit
It’ll be interesting, too, to see how Sergio Sette Camara gets on in his second season in Formula E. Fourth in the opening race weekend in Diriyah was his season high, and the Brazilian will look to marry pace with consistency in his second full Formula E campaign in Season 8.
NIO new boy Dan Ticktum joins with a strong reputation and racing record. Can he live up to his promise in Formula E?
#3: Oliver Turvey (GBR)
#33: Dan Ticktum (GBR)
Rounding out the Season 8 grid is NIO 333, with new senior management and every intention of climbing that points table in 2021/22.
The team retains Oliver Turvey as it hedges its bets with a veteran and a rookie, with Dan Ticktum joining the fold alongside Turvey – who starts his eighth season in Formula E with the outfit.
Turvey is considered by his peers to perhaps be the most underrated talent on the grid, and he will hope Season 8 can provide more opportunities for him to showcase his abilities.
READ MORE: New appointments made to NIO 333's senior management team
Ticktum is the third and final rookie on the grid for the new campaign. The Brit is a Formula 2 race winner and won his home event at Silverstone in his rookie season, securing three further podiums. He added two race wins to his tally in the 2021 campaign, where he finished fourth in the standings.
He’s also a double winner of the Macau Grand Prix – one of only eight, including Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa and race winner Edo Mortara – to have achieved that feat. He is known to be a bit of a character both on and off the racetrack, and there are many keen to see how he gets on with the often aggressive, highly competitive nature of Formula E.
Published on 10th January 2022
6 min read