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ABB FIA Formula E Season 9 Preview

As we enter season 9 of ABB FIA Formula E, we also enter a new chapter in the series. The new Gen3 car will make its debut this season and the car itself is both the quickest and most efficient FE car yet.


The Teams and Drivers:


ABT CUPRA Formula E Team


After a year out, ABT are back on the Formula E grid. For the first 7 seasons in FE, ABT were partnered up with Audi, but now, they are partnering up with CUPRA who created the first ever 100% electric touring car. Over their 7 seasons in Formula E, ABT picked up 14 race victories, 5 pole positions and 47 podiums. However, their biggest achievement was when they won the teams’ championship in the fourth season of Formula E (2017-18). Also, it’s worth mentioning that ABT’s worst-ever finish in the teams’ championship was 6th place (2019-20) so they will definitely be competitive. When it comes to their drivers, ABT have signed Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller. Robin Frijns brings both experience and pace to the team and in his 6 seasons in Formula E, Frijns has won 2 ePrix’s and finished on the podium 13 times. His best-ever championship finish was P4 in his third season (18-19). As for Nico Mueller, he’s only raced 17 times in Formula E, but he did score 1 podium in Valencia (Season 7). One thing that is important to mention is Mueller spent 5 years with ABT in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) and he twice came runner-up in the championship so he does know the team well. Overall, ABT should have a pretty decent season and I could see Frijns winning a race for them.




Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team


Avalanche Andretti walk into season 9 hoping for their best-ever season in the sport. Andretti have competed in every single race in this series and during that time, they’ve managed 8 ePrix victories, 10 poles and 21 podiums. Their best-ever championship finish was P5 (Seasons 5 and 6) so they definitely have room to improve. When it comes to their drivers, Andretti have retained Jake Dennis for a third season and brought in Andre Lotterer. Jake has proved over his two seasons in Formula E that he is one of the best drivers on the grid and during those two years, Jake has won 3 races, got 3 pole positions and he’s finished on the podium six times. Dennis’ best season was when he finished third in the championship in his rookie season (Season 7). As for Andre Lotterer, he’s an experienced driver, but he’s never quite had the results that you might expect from him. Lotterer has scored 8 podiums and 2 pole positions, but he’s still yet to win an ePrix in his 67 attempts. Also, a fun fact about Lotterer is he’s finished second at least once every season that he has competed in FE (5 seasons). Andre’s best championship finish was 8th place (Seasons 4, 5 and 6). Overall, Andretti have two quick drivers and they will hope that they can fight at the front.




DS Penske


DS Techeetah and Dragon / Penske Autosport have basically joined together to become DS Penske. The most interesting part of this partnership is Dragon / Penske have been one of the worst teams on the grid whilst DS have been one of the best teams. When it comes to their drivers, they have the brilliant Jean-Eric Vergne and the reigning Formula E World Champion, Stoffel Vandoorne. JEV has raced in every season of Formula E and there’s no doubting the fact that he is one of the best to ever race in the series. Vergne has won 10 ePrix’s, took 15 pole positions and has been on the podium 30 times. However, his greatest achievement in the sport came in seasons 4 and 5 as he became the only ever two-time Formula E champion. As for Stoffel Vandoorne, he comes into season 9 as the reigning Formula E World Champion! It’s crazy that in his 55 races in Formula E, Vandoorne has only won 3 ePrix’s. He’s also been on the podium 15 times and has taken 7 poles. Overall, DS Penske are probably the favourites for the championship. They have two of the best drivers in the series and we know how successful DS have been in recent seasons. The big question is if DS does bring the fastest car, which one out of Vergne and Vandoorne will take the championship?




Envision Racing


Envision Racing are always consistently fighting for the high points places and they will hope that continues in Season 9. Envision had driven in every race in Formula E and during that period, they have won 12 races, taken 12 pole positions and finished on the podium a total of 39 times. Their best championship finish was third in 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19 and their worst finish was fifth in 2014-15, 2020-21 and 2021-22 so they are a consistently good team. When it comes to their drivers, Envision have retained Nick Cassidy for a third season and they have brought in the very experienced Sebastian Buemi. Nick Cassidy has driven in Formula E for two seasons and he has shown his very quick pace with four pole positions over those two years. Cassidy has also scored 4 podiums and he got his first ePrix victory last year in New York. However, Nick’s best championship finish is only P11 which is slightly concerning. As for Sebastian Buemi, he is one of the most successful drivers in Formula E history, yet there is still a question mark about whether he can deliver for his new team. Sebastian has driven in every season of Formula E and during that time, he has won 13 races (joint most in history), secured 14 pole positions (second most in history) and he’s finished on the podium 29 times (third most in history). However, Sebastian’s best achievement was winning the Formula E championship back in the 2015-16 season (Season 2). Despite all of this, Sebastian was pretty awful in his final two seasons with Nissan e.dams (finished 21st and 15th in the championship) so it’s unclear how well Buemi will perform in season 9. Overall, Envision are always around the top 5 in the teams’ championship so I’m intrigued to see how they get on this season.




Jaguar TCS Racing


Can this season finally be the year that Jaguar win a championship in Formula E. Jaguar have raced six seasons in Formula E and during that time, they’ve won 8 races, taken 4 pole positions and finished on the podium 21 times. Jaguar’s best-ever finish in the teams’ championship was second place in the 2020-2021 season (season 7). When it comes to their drivers, TCS Jaguar have retained both Mitch Evans and Sam Bird for another season. Mitch Evans is entering his seventh season in Formula E and it’s also his seventh season with Jaguar. Over that time, Mitch has won 6 ePrix’s, taken 3 pole positions and he’s finished on the podium 18 times. Also, Mitch comes into this season looking for redemption after missing out on the Formula E title in the last race of the last two seasons. As for Sam Bird, he’s entering his 9th season in Formula E aiming for a much better campaign than last year. Over his 8 seasons in Formula E, Sam has won 11 times (third most in history), taken 6 pole positions and he’s finished on the podium 22 times. Sam’s best championship season came in season 3 when he finished third in the standings. Despite this, there’s still pressure on Bird to perform as he really struggled last season (finished 13th overall). Overall, everyone in Jaguar works well together and they will believe that they can end the season with a championship.




Mahindra Racing


Mahindra Racing are hoping that the new Gen3 era will bring them higher up the grid. Mahindra have raced in every single season of Formula E and during that time, they’ve managed to achieve 5 ePrix victories, 9 pole positions and 23 podiums. Mahindra’s best season in Formula E came in Season 3 (2016-17) when they managed to finish third in the teams’ standings. However, they struggled in the Gen2 era as they failed to finish higher than 8th place in the teams' championship in season 6, season 7 and season 8. When it comes to their drivers, Mahindra have retained Oliver Rowland for a second season and they have brought in the very experienced, very quick Lucas di Grassi. Oliver Rowland is entering his fifth full season in Formula E and during that time, Oliver has taken 5 pole positions, six podiums and 1 race win (Berlin, Season 6). Oliver’s best season in Formula E came in season 6 where he finished 5th in the championship. I would say that Rowland is a solid driver for a team like Mahindra. As for Lucas di Grassi, he’s the only man to have driven in every single Formula E race (100) and he’s also one of the best. During his 8 seasons in Formula E, Lucas has won 13 races (joint most in history), finished on the podium 39 times (most in history) and quite surprisingly, he’s only taken 3 pole positions. However, his greatest achievement in the series came in season 3 (2016-2017) when he became Formula E Champion. Overall, Mahindra have two drivers that can compete so if Mahindra turns up with a quick car in Mexico, they could have a very good season.




Maserati MSG Racing


For the first time ever, Maserati are in Formula E. Maserati MSG Racing have taken over Rokit Venturi Racing, a team that won 8 races, took 3 pole positions and finished on the podium 21 times in their 8 seasons in the sport. Even though Venturi struggled for most of their time in Formula E, they did finish second in the teams’ championship last season so Maserati are definitely coming in at the right time. When it comes to their drivers, Maserati have Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Gunther. Edo Mortara has been on the Formula E grid for 5 seasons (all with Venturi) and during that time, Mortara has won 6 races (4 of them last season), taken 2 pole positions and he’s finished on the podium 13 times. Mortara has finished in the top 3 in the standings in the previous two seasons so his aim is definitely to become Formula E World Champion. As for Maximilian Gunther, he’s entering his fifth season in FE and he has a lot to prove. During his 4 seasons in the sport, Max Gunther has finished on the podium 4 times and 3 of them were on the top step. Max’s best season came in season 6 (19-20) when he finished 9th in the standings, but other than that year, he has really struggled and his next highest championship finish is 16th place which is quite concerning. He should have a good car from the off so it’s important that he drives well this season. Overall, I expect Maserati to have a strong package and Edoardo Mortara should be right up there fighting for the championship.




NEOM McLaren Formula E Team


For the first time ever, McLaren are in Formula E. McLaren have taken over from Mercedes, but they have kept most of the staff from the silver arrows so they will hope for success. The former HWA Racelab and Mercedes-EQ team picked up 7 wins, 23 podiums and 9 pole positions in their four years in the sport. However, their biggest achievement was winning both the drivers’ and the teams’ championships in both seasons 7 and 8 so they are arguably the team to stop this season. When it comes to their drivers, NEOM McLaren have hired Rene Rast and Jake Hughes. Rene Rast has driven 22 times in Formula E and he has picked up 2 podiums during that time. However, he’s only actually done 1 full season in FE (Season 7) and his highest finish in the championship was P13 so there are question marks about his ability to fight at the front. As for Jake Hughes, he’s entering his first season as a Formula E driver and it doesn’t get much bigger than McLaren. Jake Hughes finished 7th in both of his full seasons in Formula 3 (2019 and 2020) and he finished 16th in last season's Formula 2 Championship. In terms of Formula E, Jake has spent the last two years as the reserve driver for Mercedes-EQ and Rokit Venturi Racing so he does know the sport and the team well. Overall, NEOM McLaren will want to be fighting at the front, but I have doubts about whether their two drivers can deliver for them.




NIO 333 Racing


NIO 333 will be hoping that they can turn a new page during the Gen3 era. Nio have raced in all 8 seasons of Formula E and during that time, they’ve won 2 races, taken 2 pole positions and they’ve finished on the podium 6 times. Also, in the past 4 seasons, they’ve probably been the worst team in Formula E. When it comes to their drivers, NIO have retained Dan Ticktum for a second season and they’ve brought in Sergio Sette Camara. Dan Ticktum enters his second season in Formula E and he’s hoping for a much better season than last year. In Season 8, Dan only managed to score 1 point (P10 in Rome) and he finished 21st in the championship. As for Sergio Sette Camara, he’s driven in Formula E for three seasons now and his highest finish was P4 (Diriyah Season 7). In fact, in Sergio’s 36 races in FE, he’s only finished in the points 3 times and his highest finish in the championship was P20 (Season 8). Overall, I would expect Nio to be right at the back of the field once again.




Nissan Formula E Team


Nissan enter season 9 hoping to return back to their best. This team was originally Renault e.Dams for four seasons before Nissan e.Dams took over and during those 8 seasons, the team has taken 17 wins, 20 pole positions and 39 podiums. However, the teams’ biggest achievement was winning the teams’ championship in season 1, season 2 and season 3. Also, Sebastian Buemi won the driver's title in season 2. However, despite all of this success, Nissan have really struggled in the past two seasons and they’ve finished as the third-worst team in each of the last two Formula E seasons. When it comes to their drivers, Nissan have brought in Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz. Norman Nato spent 1 full season with Rokit Venturi Racing in 2020-21 before he became the reserve driver for TCS Jaguar in season 8 (he drove in the last two races due to an injury to Sam Bird). During those 17 races, Norman has picked up 1 podium and that podium was a win in Berlin (the last race of season 7). He finished 18th in the championship in that season so he's sort of lucky to be getting a second chance. As for Sacha Fenestraz, he’s entering his first full season in Formula E after being a test/reserve driver for Jaguar in the past 3 seasons. Sacha did compete in the last round of the Formula E championship last year due to Antonio Giovinazzi injuring his hand and he finished P16 for Dragon / Penske Autosport. Overall, Nissan will want to have a stronger season, but I think they may actually fall further down the championship table.




TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team


TAG Heuer Porsche enter their 4th season in the sport hoping for their best campaign yet. In the three seasons Porsche have competed in, they’ve picked up 3 pole positions, six podiums and 1 race win (Mexico Season 8). In fact, their only race win actually ended as a 1-2. In terms of the championship, their highest-ever finish was only P7 (2021-22) which is actually quite disappointing for a brand as big as Porsche. In terms of their drivers, Porsche have retained Pascal Wehrlein for a third season and they’ve brought in former Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa. Pascal Wehrlein has driven in Formula E for four seasons and during that time, Wehrlein has taken 3 podiums, 3 pole positions and just 1 ePrix victory (Mexico Season 8). It’s actually pretty fair to say that Pascal hasn’t performed as well as expected and his highest championship finish of 10th place kind of reflects that (also season 8). This is a big year for Pascal. As for Antonio Felix da Costa, he’s entering his 9th season in Formula E and he’s hoping to get back to fighting right at the front of the grid. During his 8 seasons in FE, Da Costa’s won 7 races, taken 8 pole positions and he’s finished on the podium 16 times. However, his biggest achievement in the sport came in Season 6 (2019/20) when he became Formula E Champion in dominant fashion (71 points ahead of second place). Overall, this is arguably Porsche’s best chance of success in Formula E. It’s a brand-new car for all of the teams and they have two drivers that are more than capable of winning races when they are on it.



The Tracks:


Mexico City ePrix (Round 1, 14th January)

Season 9 of ABB FIA Formula E begins in Mexico City. The circuit is 2.606 km (1.619 miles) long and it features 16 turns. Also, some parts of the track will be well-known by Formula 1 fans. In total, there have been six Mexico City ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2016, was won by Jerome d’Ambrosio. Last year's Mexico City ePrix saw Porsche take their first-ever Formula E victory with Pascal Wehrlein. When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of Mexico City, winning 2 times.




Diriyah ePrix (Round 2, 27th January) and (Round 3, 28th January)

Round 2 and 3 of this season of Formula E takes place in Diriyah. The current track is 2.495 km (1.550 miles) long and it features 21 turns. In total, there have been 7 Diriyah ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2018, was won by Antonio Felix da Costa. Nyck de Vries and Edoardo Mortara won last season's races. When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of Diriyah, Sam Bird and Nyck de Vries have both managed two wins each.




Hyderabad ePrix (Round 4, 11th February)

Round 4 of season 9 sees us head to a new location as Formula E goes to India for the Hyderabad ePrix. The track itself is 2.83 km (1.76 miles) long and it features 17 turns. A fun fact about this track is it was designed by the same people who redesigned the Yas Marina circuit for Formula 1 back in 2021.




Cape Town ePrix (Round 5, 25th February)

Round 5 also features a new race track as Formula E is heading to Cape Town. The track itself is 2.74 km (1.70 miles) long and it features 12 corners. A fun fact about this track is it is expected to be one of the fastest on the entire calendar.




Sao Paulo ePrix (Round 6, 25th March)

Why have two new races when you can have three? A month after round 5, Formula E returns and heads to Sao Paulo. The track itself is 2.960 km (1.839 miles) long and it features 14 corners. A fun fact about this track is a lot of the track will feature parts from the original Sao Paulo IndyCar circuit.




Berlin ePrix (Round 7, 22nd April) and (Round 8, 23rd April)

It’s time for my favourite rounds of the season as Formula E heads to Berlin. The reason I like Berlin so much is whilst the first round is the normal layout, the second race is done on the reverse circuit meaning the first corner of race 1 is the last corner of race 2. The circuit is 2.250 km long (1.398 miles) and it features 10 turns. In total, there have been 16 Berlin ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2015, was won by Jerome d’Ambrosio. Edoardo Mortara won the first race last year whilst Nyck de Vries won the second race. When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of Berlin, Sebastian Buemi, Lucas di Grassi and Antonio Felix da Costa have all won 2 times.




Monaco ePrix (Round 9, 6th May)

Formula E is back in Monte Carlo for the Monaco ePrix. The circuit is 3.337 km (2.074 miles) long and it features 19 turns (it’s the same circuit that Formula 1 use). In total, there have been 5 Monaco ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2015, was won by Sebastian Buemi. Last year's race was won by Stoffel Vandoorne (his only victory in his championship-winning year). When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of Monaco, Sebastian Buemi has won 2 times.




Jakarta ePrix (Round 10, 3rd June) and (Round 11, 4th June)

For the first time ever, Jakarta holds 2 races over the same weekend. The circuit is 2.400 km (1.475 miles) long and it features 18 turns. There has only ever been one Jakarta ePrix (2022) and it was won by Mitch Evans.




Portland ePrix (Round 12, 24th June)

For the first time ever, Formula E is heading to Portland. Formula E are heading to the Portland International Raceway; the circuit is 3.166 km (1.967 miles) long and it features 12 turns. A fun fact about this track is both IndyCar and Nascar will also race around this circuit in 2023.




Rome ePrix (Round 13, 15th July) and (Round 14, 16th July)

For the third successive year, Rome holds two ePrix’s on the same weekend. The circuit is 3.380 km (2.100 miles) long and it features 19 turns. In total, there have been 6 Rome ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2018, was won by Sam Bird. Mitch Evans won both rounds last season. When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of Rome, Mitch Evans has won 3 times.





London ePrix (Round 15, 29th July) and (Round 16, 30th July)

The final two rounds of Season 9 of ABB FIA Formula E take place around the ExCeL Centre in London. The circuit is 2.141 km (1.330 miles) long and it features 22 turns. In total, there have been 8 London ePrix’s and the first one, which took place in 2015, was won by Sebastian Buemi. Jake Dennis and Lucas di Grassi won last season’s races. When it comes to the most successful driver around the streets of London, Nico Prost and Jake Dennis have both won 2 times. Let’s see who leaves London as the Formula E World Champion.



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