Formula E drivers: team Amlin Aguri, pilots Antonio Felix da Costa, Catherine Legg, Takuma Sato
The brainchild of the former owner of the F1 team Aguri Suzuki and the British insurance company Amlin. The long-awaited and welcomed by all the return of a cool little team Super Aguri in the higher areas of racing. The main hope of the team among the pilots is the star of the Red Bull youth program, Antonio Felix da Costa. The Portuguese racer, in parallel with Formula E acting in DTM, at some stages gives way to the famous Japanese Takume Sato.
Dario Franchitti about Aguri team:
“As is the case with most of the other teams in Formula E, on the one hand, they are beginners. Yes, there are many experienced professional engineers and mechanics in their ranks. Thanks to Antonio da Costa, they have so much to hope for – this is a cool pilot. Catherine traveled a lot in various championships, but her main plus is the experience of racing behind the wheel of a Nissan Delta Wing monstrous machine. Probably the most difficult is to adapt racing car in the world. And she coped well with her management. There are talented guys in the Aguri team, but there’s enough of the unknown here. However, in such cases, time quickly puts everything in its place. And little-known teams have a good chance to show themselves. In any case, they would have to adapt even to the standard technique. But here all the rivals learn from scratch, and therefore Aguri has, if not an advantage, but some equality”.
Team Andretti Autosport, riders Frank Montagny and Charles Peak
At the head is Roger Griffiths, the most experienced technical director of Honda Performance. This is a very experienced team.
Dario Franchitti about the Andretti team in Formula E:
“In Andretti I spoke 10 years. I think that their strongest side is first-class knowledge for settings. In action, Dave Seyffert works – and this is racing engineer Allan MacDonald at the time of victories in Indy 500 and championship titles. The team of Formula E has several guys from Indianapolis, and these are strong professionals. While Andretti’s headquarters keeps an eye on Formula E, they will be in good shape. If they decide how to work with racing electric cars, they will decide it quickly, and then they will smash their rivals. As for the pilots – first of all, Frank. I find it incredibly fast. There is no doubt about it. His star in Indikara can fade away, so here he will make every effort to shine again. I am not very clear about their second car. I hardly know Charles Peak and the team too. Perhaps it would be worth from time to time to attract well-known riders – Matt Brabham, Ryan Hunter-Ray or Marco Andretti”.
Audi Sport Abt. Riders: Lucas di Grassi, Daniel Abt
One of the most famous teams – but in another championship, body DTM. They have long wanted to recreate an international team in “formulas”, and this opportunity presented itself. In the 90s, they already worked in the younger series of open-wills. Of course, Daniel Abt is the obvious choice for his father, the team leader. He performs well in GP2. Another Audi Sport Abt racer is Lucas di Grassi. He has a lot of experience thanks to his work as a test-pilot of the championship – it’s even strange how he was allowed to become a prize racer. This is a protege of Audi – a partner of the Abtov family. In Le Mans di Grassi, it is in this team that enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a fast and stable rider. If the team is able to impose the fight to more experienced rivals from the world of “formulas”, it will be great.
Dario Franchitti about Audi ABT:
“Lucas worked in Formula E with electric vehicles from day one. He has already given a lot for the development of the championship. He knows the technique better than anyone else, and he is very good at managing it. But Daniel Abt is a man from the opposite side in the table of ranks. This is a very young pilot who has a long way to go. In GP2 it turns out well, but no more. The team itself can handle the new job. Yes, outside the DTM they are not so well known, but in this championship they are a pro”.
DS Virgin Racing drivers: China racing – Nelson Piquet-ml, Ho-Pin Toon
The owners are from China, but the Campos guys are serving this team. Thanks to their experience, the start was quite good otherwise they would have to start from scratch. The company behind China Racing wants to produce its own electric cars, and sees Formula E as the main advertising platform. Despite the scandal linking F1 with the name of Piquet, Nelson always had enough speed and talent. If the team would be more experienced, then he could seriously claim the title. Thun is a Dutchman of Chinese descent. His name and image are great for the team for their marketing purposes. However, his level is frankly lower than that of most other Formula E riders.
Dario Franchitti about China Racing:
“Thanks to Adrian Campos, we can say that China Racing has the necessary experience in youth formulas. The team has a solid budget, and together with the experience of the Campos team in GP2 and other championships, everything can work out. But they should not claim high places – at least for now. Like a couple of other pilots of Formula E, Nelson was looking for the championship, which can be called his “home”. He drove the Nazcar pickups, performed in rallycross and similar races even chasing a kart in Miami. He generally likes racing. I think this is a good addition to the championship. Do not forget that in the youth formulas, he was successful, and in F1 he performed. As for Ho-Pin Tuna when I first spoke to him, I heard a distinct Dutch accent. But in Beijing he was a star and favorite. In Formula E, there are pilots of different levels, judging by their career. Ho-Pin Toon – racer is “second category” if I may say so”.
Dragon Racing. Riders: Jerome d’Ambrosio and Oriol Servia
The second American team in electric vehicle racing has undergone too much change before the first race. It was planned that there will be four-time champion Champ Car Sebastian Bourde and the star of IndyCara city racing Mike Conway. But at first Bourdais decided to focus on the main schedule – some races are taking place simultaneously with IndyCar. Then he joined and Conway, leaving Formula E in favor of sports cars and endurance races. Jay Penske suddenly hired the not-so-famous Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio, and co-pilot invited Oriol Servius – an excellent choice.
Dario Franchitti about the Dragon-Penske team:
“Oriol Servia is a great choice. He will help the team to figure out what’s what in Formula E. Yes, and for him this is a good start for a future career. The guys from Dragon know how to handle racing cars. It is possible that at first they will not shine, because the race for them is new. But on the pre-season tests, I saw that every time this team almost spent the night in the pits, trying to get to the heart of the matter. It seems they understood in which direction to work. But the loss of Mike Conway is a huge failure. I think on some tracks he would be unbeatable on any vehicle. No, Jerome is a good racer, but he only has to show his strength. Mike is a top level pilot”.
Team e.Dams-Renault. Nicolas Prost and Sebastien Buemi
“Dams” is team through which in Europe young riders pass by whole crowds. It makes them champions; it sends them to F1 and to other top series of the planet. From the very beginning they are considered leaders in the fight for the title of Formula E, as well as their pilot Buemi. On tests, Sebastien was ahead of everyone in tatters, but the races last longer than a couple or three laps.
Dario Franchitti about the e.Dams team:
“Judging by what I have already seen, the guys from e.dams prepared for the championship better than anyone else. I do not even doubt it. Nicolas Prost is a great pilot with racing genes. When he drove the Rebellion at Le Mans, I was impressed. As for Buemi, this is probably my favorite. He is one of the most aggressive riders that I have seen. And in the youth series, he won. I think it will be difficult to defeat him”.
Mahindra Racing. Riders – Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna
Pleasant participants from India who have already gained racing experience in two-wheeled races. Now the Mahindra team has snuck into motor sport. Their experience in the Moto3 category on motorcycles of their own production will not be able to help in Formula E. But this championship participant has another advantage – they produce serial electric vehicles in India. Formula E Series is a smart marketing platform for Mahindra. The invitation to the role of the pilot Karuna Chandhok is another positive element of the team. In the case of China Racing, the Chinese pilot is not so fast, but the level of Karuna is clearly higher. Mahindra’s other racer, Bruno Senna, is the darling of millions of viewers. In addition, it is really fast and promising.
Dario Franchitti about Mahindra team:
“At first glance, it seems that the guys from Mahindra are far from such pros as, for example, e.dams. But on tests, the difference between them was measured in percent, and not in millions of kilometers. Karun and Bruno probably are two such riders with whom I know better than the others. I would definitely trust the information received from these two professionals. I would follow their advice, and would refuse those directions of development of the machine that they are not good at. As for Mahindra herself, they already produce electric cars. Moreover, not expensive exhibition toys, but mass-produced cars for everyday life. Formula E managed to attract the automaker in the first year of its existence. So, we can already talk about some return from this championship in the direction of ordinary transport”.
Team Trulli. Pilots: Jarno Trulli and Michela Cherruti
The former Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli returns to the sport. And as a top-class racer, and as the owner of his own team in Formula E. Behind his team is the famous European “stable” Super Nova, which went to the F3000 and GP2, and now it performs in AutoGP. Technological support is provided by the Drayson Racing team experienced in electrical engineering – it was planned that they would come to Formula E, but their application was bought out by Trulli. Super Nova star, girl racer Michela Cherruti is perhaps the only participant in the electro-mobile series, who, thanks to Formula E, can make a name for herself if she can cope with the task.
Dario Franchitti about the Jarno Trulli team:
“On tests, they were digging somewhere behind due to mechanical problems. The same thing happened in Beijing during the first race. There are problems with both cars by the way. I hope that now they have already solved them. We all know the deadly speed of Jarno in qualifications. I think that due to their name and past achievements, the Trulli team will bring many fans to Formula E. If they understand the machines, everything will be fine. After all they now even a few laps can’t really pass. No other team piled on as many problems as Trulli. Let’s talk about Mikel Cherruti. This is an unknown compared to other championship pilots. No, she already has some name and achievements – a victory in AutoGP, for example. This is not a top series, but victory is a victory. And she progresses well. Let’s see how it will manifest itself in Formula E. At least from Jarno, she will learn a lot.