Could we see a Williams renaissance in 2014?

The Williams F1 team have not won a world drivers championship since Canadian Jacques Villeneuve won the 1997 title, and the team have only won one race since 2004 – the Spanish Grand Prix of 2012 won by Pastor Maldonado.  Last year, the team only managed two points finishes, with Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas scoring only five points between them.

Williams is a team with such a rich history since its formation in 1977, and the team have taken Alan Jones [1980], Keke Rosberg [1982], Nelson Piquet [1987], Nigel Mansell [1992], Alain Prost [1993], Damon Hill [1996] and Villeneuve to World Drivers’ Championships, as well as taking nine constructors championship crowns.

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It is a shame that the team has spiralled so much in recent years; they have not broken into the top five of the championship since 2007, when Nico Rosberg, Alexander Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima raced in a Toyota-powered Williams.  Since then, they’ve raced w6[8ED+1QObQcoKz]309Q,WUewer with only one win to show for it.  Apart from that solitary Spain win in 2012, they have not finished on the podium since Australia 2008.  When you think that they have had the likes of Rosberg, Rubens Barrichello, Nico Hulkenberg and Bruno Senna racing for them, you can tell the lack of success is not down to the drivers.

So could a move to Mercedes-power in 2014 bring Williams back to the front, back to regular points finishes, podium places and perhaps even wins?

“With the new engine regulations coming in this year we also needed to look at our options and decide which package was best for our team,” said Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.  “We took the decision to go with the Mercedes power unit for 2014 and to enter into a long-term partnership with them which we are really excited about.

“Mercedes is a great brand and we believe that with the changes around the powertrain regulations for this year, Mercedes will be in the best position to help take us to where we want to get to.”

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As it stands, it looks as though Mercedes has the best power-unit of the three suppliers in F1, ahead of both Ferrari and Renault.  Williams made the jump from Renault to Mercedes-power after the conclusion of the 2013 season, and the move seems to be paying early dividends.  While Renault-powered cars are struggling for mileage, Williams have been putting the laps in and getting a good understanding of its new engine package.

“We’re very, very pleased with the power unit. It’s a real quality product; it’s running reliably, it’s running powerfully; it’s a good power unit to drive with,” said Williams Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds.  “Very little to say other than heaps of praise.

“You come to these pre-season tests and the first thing you do is get the reliability, because you’ve got to find out what it is that’s going to bite you. And only when you’ve got that can you really start working on performance.”

With the highly rated Valtteri Bottas remaining at the team for a second year, and with long-time Ferrari driver Felipe Massa joining him at the Oxfordshire team, the driver line-up is relatively strong.  They have even signed Massa’s Brazilian counterpart Felipe Nasr, a 2013 GP2 series championship contender, to their reserve driver role while Susie Wolff is still under contract too.  They have the driver power to compete.

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Bottas believes the various behind-the-scenes changes have helped relax the mood within the team, and feels the atmosphere is completely different to that of when he made his F1 debut twelve months ago.

“It gives you a good feeling when you see that the factory is in high spirits,” said Bottas to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “The feeling compared to this time last year is completely different. Now there is a can-do attitude.”

He added: “In the major departments we have new staff. They came from several top teams, including Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus. So we now have much more experience. And since Pat Symonds arrived, things have been much better. He has put things in order. Hopefully this will soon be reflected in the performance of the car.”

At the end of the first pre-season test in Jerez last month, Bottas’ new team-mate Felipe Massa noticed the positive vibes surrounding the team.

“This test gives more confidence for the drivers, for me, for Valtteri but also for the people,” said Massa.

“I think the people are so happy. There’s smiling on my face. But it’s not just on my face. You can see people smiling inside – it includes the mechanics, and the engineers.

“I think that’s very important for the working, for the confidence and for the progress inside the team.”

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So we know Williams have the power-unit of choice, two drivers who want to drive in F1 and show off their very obvious skill, and confidence within the mechanics and engineers.  But do Williams have the aerodynamic package to compete?

While looking at times during pre-season testing is unrepresentative of where each team are in comparism to one another, Williams have had reasonably reliable, and relatively strong tests to date.  The team have been up near the front most of the time, and usually surrounded by the other Mercedes-powered outfits; Massa even topped the final day of the Jerez test.

It is those other Mercedes-powered outfits though that could prohibit Williams getting back to the top, and it is highly likely that the Ferrari and Renault-powered teams will not be struggling as much as they appear all season long.  It might be a case that Williams will have to make the most of its reliability compared to the other teams to get good points on the board early in the season.

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As an independent team, Williams cannot afford, nor really justify splashing out excessive amounts of cash to keep up with development.  The arrival of several sponsors, including Banco do Brasil and Petrobras – both linked to reserve driver Felipe Nasr – should mean a little more is invested, but the Grove team will have to keep its spending in check.

“Whenever you underperform on the race track it can be very difficult to engage existing and prospective partners, but actually it’s been a fairly successful winter,” said Claire Williams about the sponsorship deals.

“We’re lucky in that we have a loyal group of partners who are committed to the team and we’ve also managed to bring in some new partners.”

It might just be that the team will hit the ground running, and then slow down as others catch up.  They have a good base to start from, and the positive reaction from the drivers can only boost morale.

For me, 2014 represents the best chance Williams have had for several years of getting amongst regular points positions, and should be able to challenge for podiums.  While I do not expect them to be up front all season long, I do feel they can escape from the P7-P9 zone they have occupied for the past three seasons.

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“We have to make progress,” said Williams.  “I think that’s the single most important message for this year. We finished ninth in the championship last year and that was disappointing for everybody at Grove. We all know we have to do better; there is no alternative.”

Can they win again this year?  Yes, its possible, but it might take some luck to achieve.  But all in all, I hope this is the year we see the real Williams team return.

Sources: www.Autosport.com, http://www.gpupdate.net/, http://www1.skysports.com/, http://www.williamsf1.com/

What’s in a Name – The Issues with Formula 3?

The FIA have warned National Formula 3 championships throughout Europe that they may not be able to use the ‘F3’ name following the FIA F3 European Championship’s switch to the international governing body’s new regulations for 2014.

The British and German F3 championships have both confirmed that they will use older specification engines and electronics to save on costs, and the MSA and DMSB, who run the British and German championships respectively, are in dialogue with the FIA over the matter.

The European F3 Open, which began its life as the Spanish F3 championship in 2001, has already changed its name to EuroFormula Open, while the Masters of Formula 3, one of the blue ribbon events of the year, has already stated it will run cars of the older specifications from the British and German F3 championships, and will remove the F3 name from its title.

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“We’ve put together a set of regulations that will appeal to British F3 and ATS German F3 Cup teams,” said race coordinator Barry Bland.

David Coulthard won the inaugural Masters of Formula 3 title in 1991, and the event has seen the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and Takuma Sato win the Dutch-based event.  In 2013, Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist won for the second time in three years.

The cost of upgrading engines to 2014 specifications would have had implications on the entry levels of the European F3 Open said series the boss of promoter GT Sport, Jesus Pareja.

“To keep the F3 denomination would have entailed adopting the new FIA F3 engine rules, something that would have had severe budget implications for the teams,” said Pareja.

“We are of the view that this is not wise, especially in the current economic context. We think that offering a high-performance formula at the most reasonable cost possible is the right way forward.

“Furthermore, with the 2014 engine upgrade, the Euroformula Open cars will have a performance level similar to any other series using F3 chassis.

“For us to retain the freedom to further improve the performance package and the cost-effectiveness in the future is a crucial point.

“The name change also avoids confusion with the European F3 Championship recently reinstated by the FIA. We definitely think that preserving the essence of our series is more important than what it is called.”

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Frits van Amersfoort, a team owner who runs cars in both the European and German F3 series, admits that the FIA trying to get all F3 championships to follow one set of rules is important, but does not believe older specification cars should miss out on being called F3 cars.

“They are trying to get everything under one umbrella and I think that’s important,” said van Amersfoort, “but I can’t understand why people with older cars and engines can’t call themselves F3.

“The FIA must understand that it takes time to adapt to new regulations. You can’t change the world in one winter.

“It is vital that the British and the German series (pictured) can keep the name ‘F3’ – it’s the most important thing the series have.”

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Peter Briggs, who runs British Formula 3 teams group FOTA, believes it is sad that cars built for F3 may not be able to use the F3 name.

“FOTA and SRO [the British F3 promoter] have never been asked not to use the F3 title,” he said.

“I don’t think it will make any difference to race entries. It’s just sad for historical purposes that a car built as an F3 car couldn’t be called F3.”

So why have the FIA clamped down so much on the use of the F3 name?  In the long run it seems like a good idea to have one set of rules covering all the series’, but to try and enforce it over one winter is boarding on stupid.

The British and German F3 championships are two of the most important championships in the world of motorsport; 18 of the 22 drivers in Formula 1 raced in British F3 at some point.  To even think about removing the F3 name from such a historic series as British F3 is saddening.

“I just hope that common sense will win and that there will be national series for F3 in Britain and Germany, because these are needed as feeder series for European F3,” said van Amersfoort.

And I concur.  The FIA need to relax and allow the F3 name to continue to be used by the British and German F3 events.  The F3 name has already been lost from the Zandvoort Masters, we cannot have it disappearing from anything else.

Sources: Autosport

Could Romain Grosjean follow Eric Boullier to McLaren?

Romain Grosjean’s close relationship with Eric Boullier could lead to the Frenchman leaving Lotus and join his countryman at the McLaren team as soon as 2015.

When Boullier left his role as team principal of Lotus at the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season and joined McLaren, doubts arose regarding the driver he signed for the team in 2012, and stood by during all his on-track issues that year.

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With so much off-track doubts surrounding Lotus, including delays in paying employees including its drivers, there is a possibility that Grosjean could link-up with Boullier again in 2015 in some capacity.  McLaren have a few choices for its drivers – Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne are already there this year – but Grosjean could offer something different.

The Frenchman had a breakthrough year in 2013, and was the only driver to regularly trouble the Red Bull Racing/Sebastian Vettel domination at the end of the year.  He claimed six podium finishes, including a second place in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, and five third places in Bahrain, Germany, Korea, Japan and India.

Boullier was part of Gravity Sport Management who manage Grosjean’s career, but Gerard Lopez, the chief of Lotus team owner Genii Capital and the successor to Boullier at Gravity, believes Grosjean will be at Lotus for the long term.

“It is us who brought Romain from GP2, and his career was launched by Jean-Paul Driot, who is a friend and a partner,” said Lopez.

“Then the choice of the lineup for F1 was done with Eric Boullier, but it’s still us who decided. And Gravity is 100% ours.

“For me, Romain is one of the best drivers in F1 today, and I think we will soon be able to announce something for the very long term.”

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If the car Lotus give Grosjean is not as good as the one they gave him in 2013, there is a big possibility that the Frenchman could walk away from Lotus at the end of the 2014 season, especially if the financial issues that have been around the team do not go away.

Grosjean and new team-mate Pastor Maldonado will hope to run in the new Lotus in the upcoming pre-season test in Bahrain after Lotus decided to miss the first test.

Sources: http://www.gravitysportmanagement.com/, http://www.espn.co.uk/

Simona de Silvestro – the Talented Swiss Miss

The Sauber F1 team’s announcement that they had signed a contract with 25-year-old Simona de Silvestro for her to be an affiliated driver with the team shocked a few people in the F1 world.  The Swiss Miss has always said her ambition was to race in Formula 1, and now her dream has come a little closer to being realised.

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De Silvestro becomes the fifth driver to be signed to some kind of contract with Sauber this year, joining race drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez, reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, and test driver Sergey Sirotkin.

But who is Simona de Silvestro, and why have the Sauber team signed her up?

De Silvestro began her open wheel career in 2005, aged 17, in the Formula Renault 2.0 Italy series.  The following year she moved to the United States to compete in races there, first of all in the Formula BMW USA series, where she won her first race in 2006.  She then progressed into the support series for the Champ Car series, the Atlantic Championship.  She made steady progress in her three years there, and in her final year in 2009, she won four times and finished third in the championship.

She moved into the IndyCar Series in 2010, debuting with the HVM Racing team.  She had a best finish of eighth in her rookie season at Mid-Ohio, but impressed the paddock with her skills.  She even lead laps in Brazil!  She remained in the team for 2011, and finished fourth around the streets of St. Petersburg.

A third year with HVM came in 2012, but with Lotus engines – the only team to run them all season long – she was not a serious contender for big results.  She was very lucky to even qualify for the Indianapolis 500 due to the severity of the underpowered Lotus engine.

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She spent a fourth year in the IndyCar series, this time with the KV Racing Technology team as team-mate to Tony Kanaan – the first time in four years she had a team-mate.  She had a much more impressive year, culminating in a maiden podium finish around the streets of Houston.

“In my mind, she’s the best female racer on the planet,” Jimmy Vasser, the team boss of KV Racing Technology. “I haven’t seen anybody else with her abilities across the board. She’s the best, hands down.

“Danica [Patrick] did a great job to open doors and break down barriers. But she’s so petite, and that made it harder for her to compete on road and street races.  But Simona can hang in there all day long with the big boys. She’s the world’s best female racer, in my opinion.”

Her first year with a team-mate enabled her to learn from Tony Kanaan, who won the 2013 Indianapolis 500.  Kanaan made a bold statement of his own regarding de Silvestro.

“She’s better at this point in her career than anyone else I’ve taught,” admits Kanaan, who made his own debut in Indycar back in 2002.

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“She got her confidence back this year.  She’s never had a teammate to tell her that what she’s doing is OK. She knows what she wants.

“She knows exactly what she needs. I try to help her as much as I can, but it’s not like she needs that much help.”

De Silvestro admits that she learns every time she goes out in a racecar.  She has the strength, the stamina to compete with the best of what IndyCar have to offer, and she is very precise and accurate with a steering wheel in hand.

“I’ve always been the type of driver who learns something every time out,” said de Silvestro.

“It’s still going on for me. There are a lot of things I need to improve, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ve always been the type of person who doubts themselves when there’s nothing on paper that proves you’re getting faster.  I have to know I’m constantly improving.

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“The thing I hear in that regard that is flattering is when people say I’m a good driver on road and street courses. You always hear that a woman can’t drive on a road course because it’s more physical than an oval. It’s cool to hear people say I can race on road courses.”

With the news of her Sauber contract being announced, de Silvestro admitted that Formula 1 has always been her lifelong ambition.

“This is a major step towards me achieving a life-long dream and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to take this step with such a great team. The Sauber F1 Team is a team with a legacy and the only Swiss team in Formula One, which I think makes this even more exciting. I can’t thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber enough for their support and belief in my abilities and for giving me this chance. I’m thrilled to have this extremely unique platform on which to prepare myself to take on the challenge.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, one of only two female team principals in Formula 1 alongside Williams’ Claire Williams, said de Silvestro was a very gifted driver, and the team were happy to be assisting her attempt to get a race seat in F1.

“After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula one in 2015,” said Kaltenborn.

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“We regard her as a very talented race driver, and we, therefore, decided to take her on board as an “affiliated driver” and support her on her way to the pinnacle of motorsport.”

Her contract with Sauber enables her to join a preparation programme, which will enable de Silvestro to obtain a super licence and prepare her for Formula 1 in 2015.  Sauber will give her time on track and in a simulator, plus help her with physical and mental preparations.

The road to Formula 1 is a long one for many drivers, and Simona de Silvestro is no exception.  There has not been a female racing driver in the sport since 1992, when Giovanna Amati attempted to qualify a Brabham unsuccessfully.  In between then and now, Katherine Legge, Susie Wolff and the late Maria de Villota have all tested F1 cars, but none have made the jump up to race driver.

Just because she has a contract with Sauber does not guarantee her a race seat.  Sauber already have Sergey Sirotkin under a similar contract, and his Russian backers are expecting him to race in F1 in 2015.  Giedo van der Garde, Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez will also hope to be racing for the team next year.

But her gender should not be the defining entity that decides who gets the drive.  If she proves to the team that she is quick, perhaps quicker than some or all of the other drivers in contention, then she should get the drive.  To me, I am in agreement with Jimmy Vasser that she is the best female driver in the world right now, and on her day, she can beat the best drivers IndyCar has to offer, including champions past and present.

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Is she good enough for F1?  In my opinion, she is, and had I been a team boss, I would have taken a look at her much sooner than now.  Its good news that Sauber have taken her on board, I feel she will prove herself sufficiently in the next twelve months that she will be in Formula 1 as a race driver in 2015.

Watch this space, the Swiss Miss is coming, you’d better be ready!

Sources: Autosport, http://www.sauberf1team.com/, http://www.usatoday.com/

Abt, di Grassi announced as first Formula E drivers!

German GP2 series driver Daniel Abt and Brazilian World Endurance Championship driver Lucas di Grassi have become the first names to be officially announced as drivers for the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship that begins in September.  The two drivers have been confirmed at the Abt Sportsline team.

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Former Formula 1 driver di Grassi was originally Formula E’s official development driver, but gave up that role in order to chase a race seat in the series.

The Brazilian will be a full-time Audi World Endurance Championship driver for 2014, stepping into the seat vacated by Allan McNish’s retirement.  He is thankful that he can race in both series.

“I’m delighted that Audi is giving me the opportunity to drive in sports car racing as well as in Formula E,” di Grassi said.

“I’ve been watching Abt Sportsline on track for a long time – a very professional and cool outfit and my first contact.

“It’s great that it worked out. We’ve got ambitious plans.”

Team-mate Abt will be racing in his second season of the GP2 Series in 2014 with Hilmer Motorsport.  He came very close to winning the 2012 GP3 series championship but just missed out to Mitch Evans in the season finale.  He is the son of team-owner Hans-Jürgen Abt, and the younger Abt was delighted to be part of the first season of Formula E.

“I was really thrilled with the ideas of Formula E from the very beginning and obviously even more about Abt Sportsline competing with a team of their own,” said Daniel.

“That I’m part of the line-up in the inaugural season is both an honour and a huge challenge.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt says he is pleased with the driver line-up Abt-Sportsline have for the 2014/15 FIA Formula E Championship.

”In Daniel and Lucas we’ve signed our absolutely ideal pairing,” said Hans-Jurgen.

”My thanks go to Audi who released Lucas for the Formula E commitment. He’s been involved in the development of the series right from the beginning and is one of the most sought-after names on the scene – we’re proud that he’s opted for us.”

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

Sims to debut in British GT with BMW & Ecurie Ecosse

British driver Alexander Sims will debut in the British GT championship with Ecurie Ecosse.  The Factory BMW driver will run alongside Marco Attard for six of the seven rounds that make up the season in a Barwell Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3.

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The 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner is confident that he can mount a serious challenge for race wins in his rookie season, and is happy to be back racing in a British championship.

“It’s fantastic to be back racing in a British championship and really exciting to be coming back to British circuits,” said Sims.

“Last year the level was pretty damn high at the front. I haven’t tested but I would hope I would be up to speed very quickly.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be a breeze, but we should consider ourselves contenders.”

The only trouble is that due to a calendar clash, Sims will miss the race weekend at Snetterton, and that could dash his hopes of mounting a serious title challenge.  But he cannot wait for the new challenge that has been presented to him.

“I’m over the moon, as getting a full-time drive in a championship as prestigious as British GT is just fantastic” added Sims.

“It’s a great opportunity to embed myself within BMW’s network of teams, and to work alongside a gentleman driver as talented as Marco. Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell enjoy a very impressive track record together, with last year especially strong thanks to Marco and Olly [Bryant]. I simply cannot wait for us to begin working together.”

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His team-mate Attard is optimistic that he and Sims will be fighting at the front of the field in 2014.  Attard won once with Oliver Bryant during 2013, and is hopeful of more success this year.

“It’s great to be back with Ecurie Ecosse and the guys at Barwell,” said Attard.

“I can hit the ground running now that I’m continuing with the same car and team, and have a full season already under my belt. This, combined with having a driver of Alexander’s calibre alongside me, means I have put myself in the best possible position to challenge for the title again.

“I’ve got good faith in Alexander.  It’s a matter of him pushing me more and more.

“We had a couple of issues last year without which we would have been alright. Hopefully with the combination of Alex and myself we should be up there.”

Barwell Motorsport Team Principal Mark Lemmer is thrilled about his 2014 British GT driver line-up.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have such a fantastic driver line-up across both championships, and it’s great to be able to welcome Alexander to our fold; he is undoubtedly one of the most exciting young British talents in the world of GT racing,” said Lemmer.

“I fully expect Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell to be pushing for both titles!”

The British GT Championship begins in April at Oulton Park.

Sources: Autosport, http://www.ecurieecosse.com/, http://www.britishgt.com/

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/