Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Written by Tom Evans, Olly Radley, Thomas Bergamo, Danny Jones, Morgan Holiday, Edited by Hazel Alagappan
With Formula E Pre-season testing in Valencia having come to a close, our team of writers have made some predictions for the 2021/22 Formula E season. The predictions include three categories: Championship winners, Struggle of the year, and shock/surprise of the year.
Driver: Jake Dennis- I may be slightly biased as he is by far my favourite Formula E driver, but Jake Dennis was seriously impressive in his debut season in the series. P3 in the championship, but could very well have won it if not for a mechanical failure in the final race. The pace is clearly there for the young Brit, so in my opinion, all that could stop him is the performance of his team Andretti Autosport.
Team: Envision Virgin Racing- This is probably the toughest call on my part, as I was very close to choosing DS-techeetah. But with Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns at the forefront of the team, I reckon they will just snatch that title away.
Struggles of the year:
Driver: Lucas Di Grassi- It’s pretty out there for the person who helped make the championship in the first place, but I don’t see Lucas winning the title or anything close to that this year. With an uncertain move to Rokit Venturi Racing, I think that he’ll pick up a couple of podiums but very far off what he has achieved in the past.
Team: Tag Heuer Porsche- Despite fighting relatively near the front last season, I see this team dropping back further in the standings. Despite having a decently strong lineup, I see them picking up minimal points and taking last in the championship.
Surprises of the year:
Driver: Dan Ticktum- Unlike the opinion of most Motorsport fans, I like Dan Ticktum quite a lot. And I can see him picking up his first win in the series, with Nio 333 returning to their winning ways.
Team: Nio 333- Despite being a backmarker for the last five or so seasons, I see Nio rocketing up the standings. Not sure why to be honest, I’ve just got one of those feelings.
Driver: Antonio Felix da Costa – Despite being a new season with a fairly new-look grid, I think we’ll see the familiar face of Antonio Felix da Costa taking the World Drivers’ Championship. Out of the categories, I found this one to be the tightest and trickiest to decide, with many title challengers looking very threatening on the grid. The young hotshot Jake Dennis who really went for it last season has stayed a threat to the title, as well as the Jaguar pairing of Sam Bird and Mitch Evans, but for me, ‘Tonio will be the one. He seems very comfortable at Techeetah, heading into his 3rd year with the Chinese outfit, having claimed his only title in his first. While I think Antonio will do it, it could be anyone, so more excitement for us fans!
Team: Jaguar – When I was racking my brain and making my mind up on the first one, two strong candidates for me were Mitch Evans and Sam Bird. Obviously, they are both Jaguar drivers, and the drivers who I think will bring home the constructors’ championship for the British team. 2022 will be their second year as teammates after finishing 2nd last year, just 4 points away from champions Mercedes-EQ. I fully expect them to build off of this impressive start as a duo and come back even stronger in ‘22, and hopefully bring home the crown for Jaguar.
Struggle of the year:
Driver: Dan Ticktum – Now I understand lots of people on the Ticktum hate train will hope that Dan has a horrid time in his debut Formula E season, but unfortunately for Dan, I think their dream may come true. Starting as a rookie at the worst team on the grid is not an ideal scenario for the former F1 hopeful. On top of that he’s the youngest of the 22 drivers on the grid, a very competitive grid at that, so let’s hope that Dan can prove me wrong and hopefully stay out of trouble. Having said this, it will definitely be a really hard year for Dan, the hardest of his career, but without a doubt, I’m sure he’ll still produce some Ticktum radio gold.
Team: Nissan e.dams – With the Formula E midfield being so tight, it was very tricky trying to pick one of them to be my struggle of the year, but for me, it’s going to be Nissan e.dams. With Buemi not at all impressing last season, and a lot of other midfield teams making lots of big strides, I expect Nissan to be in a similar place to last year.
Surprises of the year:
Driver: Oliver Rowland – Oliver Rowland has been a familiar face in the Formula E midfield for numerous years now, and heading into 2022, he is now at a new team, departing from Nissan e.dams for the Mahindra team, a staple of the midfield. Now at a new team as the number 1, I expect Rowland to reinvent himself and convert from a midfield runner to a front runner and be consistently fighting for podiums and wins, which he’s already shown signs of being able to do.
Team: ROKiT Venturi – Venturi have been in FE since its inauguration back in 2014, and have remained in the midfield throughout all 7 seasons, in 2022 however, I expect that to change. With a management restructure and a new driver lineup, I expect Venturi to improve from a midfield runner to a championship fighter. They were 7th last season with driver Edoardo Mortara in 2nd, who will be partnered by 2017 champion Lucas di Grassi in 2022. They find themselves with a great set of drivers, 2 brilliant racing minds at the top of the hierarchy, and come season’s end, they may just find a few trophies to add to their collection.
Driver: Stoffel Vandoorne – despite the bad luck in Rome and in London, the Belgian demonstrated a very strong pace during all the season, and strong consistency, in terms of results. As I said before, he has had a lot of bad luck. From the hole taken at Rome to be shot by Oliver Rowland in London. Another important fact is that this could be the last season of Mercedes in FormulaE, so they could try to give the maximum and even try to take home the constructor title and the drivers’ championship title. He’ll beat his main rivals that are Antonio Felix Da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne
Team: DS Techeetah – I see Mercedes and the DSes are the favourites for the title. They all have really strong drivers (Vandoorne – De Vries / Vergne – Da Costa) and it’ll be a “point-to-point battle”, but I see the Cheetahs really hungry for victories. So, they’ll take their maiden redemption from last year.
Struggles of the year:
Driver: Lucas Di Grassi – New team, new challenges. Lucas has always done very strong performances with Audi. But after the retirement of the German constructor, he had to find a new team, which is Mahindra Racing. He’ll drive alongside the British Alexander Sims. Usually, when you change teams the first year you’ll probably struggle because of the transfer, overall if you stayed in your former team for many years. Indeed, the Brazilian driver has stayed with Audi for five years, so he’ll feel the difference.
Team: Nissan e.dams – Nissan could be a very strong team: they have two strong drivers and the car has a really good pace. But they have a big defect: consistency. Indeed, most of their retirements have been caused by engine issues, which are constant in the team. I don’t think they’ll resolve it in this season, so they might arrive last in the midfield battle.
Surprises of the year:
Driver: Antonio Giovinazzi – young, talented and with a huge fighting spirit. The Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi is one of the biggest market hits. He comes from Formula 1, where Alfa Romeo dumped him despite some great results. He has now entered in the FormulaE world to prove that those who criticised him were wrong. The Italian driver, apart from a little brake pedal problem, said that the car is fantastic and he felt really comfortable. We are waiting for him to jump into this new adventure and I’m sure he will be the surprise of the season
Team: Envision Virgin Racing team – What’s better than a young driver, who is in his second season here, and a veteran that knows this category very well? The Envision Racing team is one of those few that is in this condition. Indeed, their line-ups are one of the strongest in the grid. Robin Frijns has been in FormulaE since 2015 and in the Envision team since 2018. He demonstrated his strong pace during the entire last season, by finishing fifth on the general standings. The other driver is Nick Cassidy, a New Zealander driver who is in his second season in FormulaE. Like Vandoorne, he was so unlucky but, despite it, he continued to demonstrate his strong qualifying pace, by taking the Superpole in the Rome E-Prix. So Envision racing can be the revelation of the season and they can be the third force on the grid.
Driver: Sam Bird – The lottery nature of Formula E makes it near impossible to easily predict a champion, but for 2022, I’m going to back Sam Bird. The only man to win a race in every Formula E season, the Brit has found himself consistently near the top of the standings but has only achieved a best overall position of 3rd. Bird has to be regarded as one of the best without a championship, and his experience may play a key role in winning a maiden championship in 2022.
Team: Mercedes – In what will be Mercedes’ final season in Formula E, I predict they will retain their constructors championship. The formidable lineup of Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries is probably the best out of any team, and with both drivers consistently up the pecking end of the order in 2021, I predict they will remain near the top in 2022, where Mercedes will give a final push to their Formula E stay, whilst Vandoorne and de Vries attempt to end on the highest note.
Struggles of the Year:
Driver: Antonio Giovinazzi – Giovinazzi was somewhat a surprise move to Formula E, after Guanyu Zhou took his Alfa Romeo F1 seat, signing for Dragon-Penske in place of Joel Eriksson. Although there are high hopes for the Italian, I can’t see him excelling in one of the cars traditionally further down the grid, with the time with which he will need to adapt also being a factor to play. With his F1 record not being particularly successful either, I can’t see Giovinazzi having a standout 2022, and will be somewhat underwhelming considering his previous career, and will be the struggle of the season.
Team: DS Techeetah – I’m going bold for this one, although I don’t think DS Techeetah will necessarily be low in the standings, I’m expecting the 2020 champions to fall down the pecking order. Jean-Eric Vergne has seemed to struggle at times in recent seasons, and cannot see him regaining his form in 2022. Antonio Felix da Costa without doubt is a brilliant driver, but I’m also expecting him to somewhat struggle in 2022, as the series becomes more competitive, and I think we can see the Chinese team fall down in the order. Their dominant powertrain seems to be not as good as once before, and I can see Vergne’s struggles continuing in 2022.
Surprises of the Year:
Driver: Nick Cassidy – I had high hopes for Nick Cassidy going into 2021, and although his season didn’t go quite to plan, he was unfortunate at times, and proved his worth, and I think 2022 we will see him near the front of the standings. In a strong Envision Virgin team, Cassidy’s entire career has been based on success, and I think is a winning formula, which could see him near the top of the grid. His 2021 proved his potential, but if he can iron out the mistakes, we could play a key role in the championship battle.
Team: Andretti – BMW may have left the sport as a manufacturer (albeit still providing Andretti engines), but I have high hopes for the Andretti team. Jake Dennis was the surprise package last season, and I expect his success to continue this season. Alongside him, Andretti have brought in their 2019 Indy Lights champ, Oliver Askew. Despite Askew sniffing around for a full-time IndyCar drive, his last being in 2020, where he was outshone by teammate Pato O’Ward, Andretti have picked him up for Formula E, and I think could be a very exciting prospect for the team, after winning Indy Lights with them in 2019, and having tested a lot for the IndyCar outfit. Although he may take some adaptation, I think he has all the ability to be successful, meaning Andretti could be right near the top in 2022.
Driver: Mitch Evans – The thing that makes Formula E so exciting is that the gap in performances between teams and drivers is much more marginal than some other motorsport series (*cough* F1 *cough*). The driver’s title really could go to anyone, and I’m predicting it to be Mitch Evans this year. The Kiwi driver has been driving in Formula E with Jaguar since their entrance to the series in 2016, and has done some great work with the team. Jaguar currently has four wins in Formula E, half of them scored by Evans. While he didn’t take any wins in the 2020-21 season, the team finished second in the constructor’s standings, their best finish ever, by a lot. Sam Bird, Jaguar’s other driver, took two wins but still finished in sixth, two places behind Evans in the driver’s standings. Fourth place for Evans meant his highest finish in the championship so far, and his performance is likely to improve next season. After so long waiting for his moment, and in a racing series where anything could (and does) happen, the 2021-22 season of Formula E might finally be Evans’ year to win the driver’s championship.
Team: Mercedes-EQ – With the Mercedes-EQ team set to leave Formula E at the end of the 2022 season, it’s highly likely they’ll pull out all the stops to defend their title as the constructor’s champions. The fact that they’re likely to put a lot of effort into their team, along with their winning combination of drivers is set to once again be a formidable lineup. Reigning Formula E champion Nyck de Vries will likely continue his run of excellent form, while his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne should not be far behind. Mercedes is known for being a hardworking and dedicated team in whatever series they compete in, and after their performance last year, it’s not hard to imagine them winning the team championship in 2022.
Struggles of the Year:
Driver: Oliver Turvey – Turvey has been competing with NIO in Formula E since the inception of the series, but I’m predicting him to be outperformed by his rookie teammate in the 2021-22 season. The NIO team has never been at the top of the ladder in the series, and Turvey has only finished in the top ten in the championship standings once, when he finished tenth in the 2017-18 season and scored his only podium in the series. The team isn’t expected to make any significant leaps in the coming season, and Turvey is likely to still be at the back of the pack, as will his new teammate Dan Ticktum. But Ticktum is a wild card, and will likely adjust quickly to the new series. Not afraid of taking risks and making moves that others wouldn’t, I’m predicting Dan Ticktum to finish ahead of his fellow Brit and teammate in the championship standings.
Team: Dragon / Penske Autosport – Dragon Racing had an excellent first season when Formula E was a new series, finishing second the inaugural season. But from there, it was all downhill. The past two seasons they’ve been second to last in the constructor’s standings, and they’re not likely to improve in the 2021-22 season, especially with their driver lineup. With the new signing of Antonio Giovinazzi alongside Sérgio Sette-Câmara, they’ll spend most of the year getting him up to speed. No offence to the Italian driver, but Giovinazzi often takes more time to get used to a series, and Formula E will be a completely new and probably very difficult challenge, both for him and for the team as a whole.
Surprises of the Year:
Driver: Dan Ticktum – Dan Ticktum’s reception at Formula E has been mixed since NIO 333 announced him alongside Oliver Turvey, some excited for him to get another chance at success in motorsport, others feeling he doesn’t deserve that chance. Whatever the case, Ticktum has always been one of the top drivers in whatever series he competes in, and the fact that he has a lot of talent isn’t easily disputed. Even making a switch to a completely new series in a completely new kind of car, Ticktum is likely to adjust well, and already has been close to the pace of Turvey in his brief outing in pre-season testing. While he’s not likely to get to use Fanboost at all throughout the season, Ticktum’s talent as a driver should see him have an impressive rookie year, even at a team lower down on the grid.
Team: Andretti Autosport – Andretti has been a part of Formula E since its inaugural season in 2014, and their best place in the constructor’s championship is 5th, which they took in 2018-19 and 2019-20. But I’m predicting a step up the grid for the 2021-22 season, with the team finishing in the top four in the constructor’s standings. After Jake Dennis made his Formula E debut with the team in 2020-21, he took two wins and finished third in the championship, impressive work for a rookie. He’s likely to continue on his trajectory and improve in 2022, and with the 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew joining him, the team should be in a good place to make a big step forward.
What are your predictions for the coming Formula E season? Let us know in the comments!