SCINQ CRIB NOTES: Formula E 2018 preview

Team: Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
Drivers: Lucas Di Grassi; Daniel Abt
Data: 10 Wins; 35 Podiums; 5 Poles
Crib Notes: Since the inaugural race of the inaugural season of ABB Formula E, Audi Sport ABT has been pushing the limits of what e-cars can achieve. Lucas DiGrassi took top spot on the podium at the Beijing E-Prix, announcing the team’s intent to fight for the title. Daniel Abt, DiGrassi’s teammate, also finished in the points during Formula E’s first race. They’ve competed as a pair ever since and are electric car racing veterans by now. Question is whether they can turn that experience into individual and constructors titles.

Team: BMW Andretti Motorsport
Drivers: Alexander Sims; Antonio Felix da Costa
Data: 0 Wins; 5 Podiums; 3 Poles
Crib Notes: Two of the most iconic names in motorsports came together and it took the Formula E experience to do it. BMW. Andretti. While the tandem have yet to hit the transcendent heights of Lotus-Andretti, the partnership is still young and has shown promise. This is the first “full works” season for the German automaker and the team should benefit from the brand new BMWiFE18 powertrain. Antonio Felix da Costa returns for his third full season with BMW Andretti Motorsport, bringing some stability to a team that has had a revolving door of drivers in the past. He is joined by Formula E rookie, Alexander Sims who joins from British GT and Lemans racing.

Team: Envision Virgin Racing
Drivers: Sam Bird; Robin Frijns
Data: 7 Wins; 15 Podiums; 6 Poles
Crib Notes: After spending years toiling in Formula 1, Virgin Racing re-emerged in the Formula E Championship. While they have yet to pocket the top prize, the British team have been tantalizingly close. Last year in particular saw the team constantly challenging their peers. The charge was led by Sam Bird. The only driver to register wins in each of the four seasons, he was the runner-up in Season 2. Bird will be joined by a former Andretti Racing teammember, Robin Frijns. Look for the team to make a strong push for the elusive title.

Team: Geox Dragon
Drivers: Jose Maria Lopez; Maximillian Guenther
Data: 3 Wins; 9 Podiums; 2 Poles
Crib Notes: Few names in American motorsport can compare to Roger Penske. The name alone elicits association with successful drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power, Brad Keselowski, Mario Andretti, Al Unser Sr, and Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears. Geox Dragon sees the motorsports tradition pass down to his son, Jay Penske. They officially formed in 2007 and was an early entrantant into Formula E. They’ve racked up a respectable 2 Wins, 9 Podiums, and 2 Poles. Jose Maria Lopez and Max Guenther will be hoping to ride the Penske designed and developed powertrain more podiums.

Team: Panasonic Jaguar
Drivers: Nelson Piquet; Mitch Evans
Data: 0 Wins; 1 Podiums; 1 Pole
Crib Notes: Jaguar brings a revered name, both on and off the track, to the electric championship. Absent the British Racing Green made famous in Formula 1 with legends like Jackie Stewart, the latest iteration of Jaguar racing features a partnership with Panasonic, a major battery manufacturer. When the team entered Formula E, they announced their aggressive intentions with the signing of Nelson Piquet, who not only came with a revered motorsports last name, and significant F1 experience, but also the inaugural season championship under his belt. Joined by the New Zealander, Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar should be expected to add a check in the wins column.

Team: Mahindra Racing
Drivers: Jerome D’Ambrosio; Felix Rosenqvist
Data: 3 Wins; 15 Podiums; 6 Poles
Crib Notes: The Mahindra team have built a solid team since first taking to the electric motor racing street courses during the inaugural season. They took a massive first step during the 2016/17 season by logging their first victory. More podiums followed soon after and they enter the new season with a very respectable 3 wins. They have a veteran electric car racer in Jerome D’Ambrosio who spent four seasons racing with BMW Andretti before making the jump to Mahindra. With 2 wins under his belt, he’ll be able to help rookie driver, Felix Rosenqvist make the adjustment to racing an electric car.

Team: Nio Formula E
Drivers: Oliver Turvey; Tom Dillman
Data: 2 Wins; 6 Podiums; 2 Poles
Crib Notes: During the inaugural Formula E season, Nio’s former incarnation as Team China, experienced immediate success. Nelson Piquet Jr. rode straight to victory lane, becoming the first champion in the new series’ history. The following year, Team China’s car suffered reliability problems and was too heavy, severely hampering performance. Since then, Team China became Nio Formula E and their success has been much more moderate. Drivers Oliver Turkey and Tom Dillman both had solid racing experience prior to entering Formula E. Turkey was formerly a McLaren Test driver and placed second behind Jaime Alguersari in British F3.

Team: DS Teechetah Formula E
Drivers: Jean Eric Verne
Crib Notes: The Chinese team enjoyed an almost perfect 2017/18 season. With a car that, at times, felt a cut above the rest, and a talented driver in full control of his abilities, DS Teechatah Formula E almost scored a double (winning the driver’s and constructors’ championships). Alas, it was not to be. While Verne, yet another former BMW Andretti racer, locked up his title in dramatic fashion during the last race of the year in New York E-Prix, Techeetah fell two points short of the constructors’ title. The honors went to Audi. Anything is possible for this, including a repeat from Verne.

Team: Venturi Formula E Team
Drivers: Felipe Massa; Edoardo Mortara
Data: 0 Wins; 1 Podium; 0 Poles
Crib Notes: This team has the DNA to make a serious charge for the title. It belongs to the same group, Venturi, that constructed the VBB-3 Bullet car that broke the electric landspeed record. Speed obviously is not their problem. Having signed former Formula 1 Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa, to a contract, Venturi has some serious talent and experience behind the wheel. All cars being equal, Massa should win the title during the next few years and a top five end of year finish is not out of the question for his rookie season. Question is: what will the car give him?

Team: Nissan e.dams
Drivers: Sebastien Buemi; Oliver Rowland
Data: 15 Wins; 26 Podiums
Crib Notes: In terms of team constructor championships, the Nissan e.dams team is the competition’s Goliath. Having won three of four team championships, the Nissan team’s dominance is beyond question. Former champion Sebastien Buemi returns to Nissan e.dams and will race alongside E-racing rookie Alex Albon.

Team: HWA Race Lab
Drivers: Stoffel Vandoorne; Gary Paffett
Data: n/a
Crib Notes: This is the German team’s maiden season in Formula E so there’s an obvious dearth of data. However, HWA is by no means a newcomer to the racing world. On the contrary, they are the most successful outfit in DTM history with a total of 10 drivers titles and 180 race wins. Expect them to bring all of that experience with them as they set out to compete for points. With the reigning DTM Championship winner Gary Paffett and former F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne begins the wheel, HWA Race Lab will have plenty of talent driving their new cars.

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