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The Formula E Grid for 2023: New Teams Galore (Part One)

Written by Vyas Ponnuri, Edited by Ishani Aziz

With the NEOM McLaren Formula E team announcing their signing of former F2 driver Jake Hughes for their first-ever Formula E campaign in 2023, the last vacant seat on the grid for next season was filled. The grid for Formula E’s new Gen3 era is drastically different, with new drivers, a few returning drivers, and with a large crop of drivers from Season Eight moving house for Season Nine.

With Techeetah missing out on the 2022-23 Formula E season, and ABT Sportsline joining, the grid remains at 11 teams for Season Nine. In this two-part piece, we will cover the line-ups of all the teams taking part in Season Nine of Formula E. Part I looks at the new teams in the sport, as well as some race-winning constructors from the 2022 Formula E Season.

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team

Drivers for next season - René Rast, Jake Hughes

One of the three new entrants to Formula E in 2023, McLaren’s entry to the series follows their takeover of the reigning Champions, Mercedes EQ Formula E team. The papaya-orange team has decided to go in for an all-new line up, with René Rast returning to the sport after a year of racing in DTM. His last stint was for Audi Sport in the 2020-21 season, stepping up to a full-time seat following his replacement of Daniel Abt for the final six races of the 2019-20 season at Berlin. While Rast has achieved plenty of success in DTM, in the form of three championships, he has made on-and-off appearances on the Formula E circuit, and has never been able to nail down a race seat for the long-term. The German has achieved two podiums from 22 starts in the sport, both for Audi Sport during his stint with the team. Rast will be looking to get McLaren off to a strong start in their first season in the series.

He will be joined by Jake Hughes, a veteran in the Feeder Series circuit. The Briton has driven in the former GP3 series for DAMS and ART Grand Prix in 2016 and 2018, and for HWA Racelab in 2019 and 2020, finishing seventh in the latter seasons, scoring most of his team’s points. After a half-season in F2 for Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR), he left the series in order to focus on his Formula E commitments, and was snapped up by McLaren ahead of Season Nine. After decent finishes in the Feeder Series across five seasons, he will be looking to impress in his rookie season of Formula E.

Guenther (L) and Mortara (R) , Image credits - FIA Formula E

Maserati MSG Racing

Drivers - Edoardo Mortara, Maximilian Guenther

Season Nine welcomes Maserati, another new manufacturer in Formula E, following their takeover of the Rokit Venturi team. The Italian manufacturer has retained Edoardo Mortara for the new era of Formula E. The Swiss-Italian driver earned his highest points tally in a Formula E season last season, scoring 169 points, which included two pole positions, four wins, and six podium finishes. He finished third in the standings, following up his impressive second place in the standings from the 2020-21 Formula E season. Following two impressive championship-contesting campaigns in 2021 and 2022, Mortara will be looking to put up a stronger championship battle, and bring silverware to Maserati in their first season of Formula E.

Mortara will be joined by Maximilian Guenther to head the ship at Maserati for Season Nine. Another veteran of the series, Guenther has 52 race starts to his name, and is set to drive for his fourth different constructor in 2023. He has three wins and four podiums to his name, and following a tough season for Nissan E DAMS in 2021, he will be looking to stake his claim and help Maserati succeed in their first season of Formula E, aiming to bring his wealth of experience to the table while doing so.

Mueller (L) and Frijns (R) , Image credits - FIA Formula E

ABT Sportsline

Drivers - Robin Frijns, Nico Mueller

The final new entry on the grid, ABT Sportsline announced their arrival to the Formula E grid in May 2022. An old partner of the Audi Formula E team, the team is set to return under the name Team ABT in 2023, and will use powertrains from Mahindra. The German outfit announced a line-up of Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller for their debut season of Formula E.

Frijns moved to ABT Sportsline for 2023, having left Envision Virgin Racing at the end of 2022. As with the case of Guenther, he too is a veteran of the series, with 76 starts to his name, two wins, 13 podium finishes, and a best finish of fourth in the standings in his first season for Envision Virgin Racing, in 2018-19. The Dutchman finished seventh in 2022, with 126 points and four podiums over the season. He will be looking to improve his consistency and net podiums regularly across the 2023 season.

He will be partnered by Swiss driver Nico Mueller. Returning to the grid for his first appearance since the 2020-21 season, he will be looking to make a mark in his second coming to the sport, and hopefully longer than the one full season in 2019-20, and the half season in 2020-21 for Dragon/Penske Autosport.

Jaguar TCS Racing

Drivers - Mitch Evans, Sam Bird

The only team to retain its driver line-up from Season Eight, Jaguar have chosen to continue with their tried-and-tested line-up of Mitch Evans and Sam Bird for the new era of Formula E.

Evans had a standout season last time around, with a double-victory weekend in Rome being the highest point of his season. Despite his four wins over the course of the season, he couldn't overhaul Stoffel Vandoorne's points tally, the Belgian going on to become the eventual champion at the end of the season. Evans will be looking to go one better in 2023, and claim the championship that eluded his grasp in Season Eight.

His teammate over the past two seasons, Sam Bird had a tough Season Eight for Jaguar, seeing his streak of at least one race win every season coming to an end in 2022. The 35-year old finished 13th in the standings with 51 points to his name, and was even forced to miss the final two rounds of the season at Seoul, following a broken hand, which he sustained at the previous round in London. The Briton will be looking to regain lost ground in the 2023 season, as he moves into the twilight stages of his career.

DS Penske

Drivers - Stoffel Vandoorne, Jean-Eric Vergne

Formerly DS Techeetah, the French manufacturer has left Techeetah to join hands with the former Dragon Penske team, to now be known as DS Penske. Jean-Eric Vergne, the most successful driver in Formula E, continues on for the team, which has been given a shot in the arm, following their signing of reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne. This line-up could be touted as one of the strongest on the grid, with a combined three championships between both drivers.

Vandoorne was instrumental last season, his consistency shining throughout the championship-contending quartet. With only one non-points score across the entire season, he was able to win the championship by a considerable margin of 33 points from the aforementioned Evans, despite winning only a single race over the course of the season. He will be looking to stake his claim and add to his championship tally at the end of the season.

The two-time champion, Vergne’s season started off strong as he battled for the championship, but then his campaign fizzled out in the latter stages. Two non-scoring events in New York and London put paid to his hopes of winning a third Formula E championship. He will be looking to come back stronger and score points at the most important stages, to win another Formula E title.

Da Costa; Image credits - John Lamparski/Getty Images

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

Drivers - Antonio Felix Da Costa, Pascal Wehrlein

With another team that wasn’t too consistent across the 2022 season, Porsche will be looking to put up a strong showing come the 2023 Formula E season. They have definitely made steps towards doing so, signing Antonio Felix Da Costa to partner Pascal Wehrlein for Season Nine, following Andre Lotterer’s departure from the team.

Da Costa, the world champion in a covid-shortened 2019-20 Formula E season, has proved himself, with 96 starts to his name. He has taken eight pole positions, seven wins, 16 podiums, and brings a wealth of experience to the German team. He had a substandard season in 2022, having scored 122 points, and being unable to match his teammate Vergne’s tally across the season. Although, he did take two pole positions, at Morocco and Seoul, and won at New York, to follow up his runners-up spot at the previous round in Marrakesh. He will be looking to take Porsche to the podium spots more regularly, come 2023.

His ally at Porsche is Wehrlein, who heads into his second full season for Porsche. He took pole and led home a Porsche 1-2 at Mexico City, but that was as high as it got for the German. Having finished tenth with 71 points to his name in 2022, the German will be looking to spearhead Porsche’s campaign in 2023.

And that is it for Part I of our preview. Be on the lookout for Part II to be out anytime soon, which will take a look at the line-ups for Nissan, Mahindra, Envision Racing, NIO 333, and Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team. What do you make of the Formula E line-ups? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below.


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