The Formula E ‘Drivers’ Club

With the inaugural season of the Formula E Championship beginning in September, the series has announced the drivers that are forming the Drivers club.  The scheme features ‘a pool of top, international names that officially endorse the new Formula E Championship’.

Twenty-four names from around the world have joined the scheme, and will be allowed to experience running in the fully electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E Car.

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Drivers from many different series have endorsed Formula E, including from IndyCar, the World Endurance Championship, the GP2 and GP3 series and DTM.  No less than twelve former Formula 1 drivers are on the list.

Driver

Nationality

Daniel Abt

Germany

Christijan Albers

Netherlands

Jamie Alguersuari

Spain

Marco Andretti

United States

Sebastien Bourdais

France

Alex Brundle

Great Britain

Sebastien Buemi

Switzerland

Karun Chandhok

India

Ben Collins

Great Britain

Conor Daly

United States

Robert Doornbos

Netherlands

Lucas di Grassi

Brazil

J.R. Hildebrand

United States

Ma Qing Hua

China

Narain Karthikeyan

India

Christian Klien

Austria

Katherine Legge

Great Britain

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Italy

Nicolas Minassian

France

Franck Montagny

France

Takuma Sato

Japan

Bruno Senna

Brazil

Oriol Servia

Spain

Adrien Tambay

France

Spanish driver Jamie Alguersuari, who has not raced competitively since being dropped by Toro Rosso after 2011, was happy to be in the Formula E drivers club.

“I’m very pleased to be joining the Formula E Drivers’ Club,” said Alguersuari.

“I think Formula E provides a new concept in motorsport and will be a great challenge to the drivers, especially having to learn new tracks in just one day and to race in city-centres like London and Beijing.”

Fellow former Formula 1 driver Robert Doornbos, who also raced in Indycar in 2011, was proud to become part of the Drivers’ club.

“I believe that Formula E cars are the future of motor racing and I look forward to racing again after a successful career in F1 and Champ/IndyCar,” said Doornbos.

“I’m positive that it will attract a lot of attention worldwide and sponsors will get to experience auto sport on a new level.”

Narain Karthikeyan, who last year raced and won races in the Auto GP World Series, is another driver on the list.

“Sustainability is the current buzzword in automotive technology, and its application in a gruelling motorsport environment like Formula E will definitely help at many different levels,” said Karthikeyan.

“On the racing front as well, the series is breaking new ground by taking the sport to the fans in an unprecedented way across the world. I am happy to be named as a part of the Drivers’ Club and eagerly look forward to the experience.”

Current IndyCar driver and former Toro Rosso F1 driver Sebastien Bourdais says Formula E is a big innovation in motor racing, and is looking forward to being a part of the series.

“You don’t get to be a part of such technological advances very often in a career,” said Bourdais.

“I would be extremely happy to discover the car and begin racing next September, and I believe the best way to achieve that is to be part of the Drivers’ Club.”

Being part of the Formula E Drivers’ club does not guarantee any driver a race seat, with the 10 teams being given a free choice about whom they choose.

Team

Nationality

Drayson Racing Formula E Team

Great Britain

China Racing Formula E Team

China

Andretti Autosport Formula E Team

United States

Dragon Racing Formula E Team

United States

e.dams Formula E Team

France

Super Aguri Formula E Team

Japan

Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team

Germany

Mahindra Racing Formula E Team

India

Virgin Racing Formula E Team

Great Britain

Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team

Monaco

Lucas di Grassi was the first driver to demonstrate a SRT_01E when he took to the streets of Las Vegas in January.  The car is capable of speeds in excess of 150mph, and has zero emissions.  Many leading names in motorsport have pulled together to bring this car together.  Spark Racing Technology designed and built the car, while Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain and electronics), Renault (system integration) and Michelin (tyres) have all assisted in development.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, the promoters of the series, is looking forward to the first season of Formula E.

“2014 is a very big year for Formula E with the championship starting in September so it’s important to be starting on such a positive note,” said Agog on the day of the demonstration.

“Today [06 January] will also be the first of many roadshows we have planned over the coming months as we want as many people as possible to see, and hear, what we believe is the future of motorsport.”

Sources: Autosport, http://www.fiaformulae.com/

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