Formula E – is it F1’s reject?

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According to the FIA, the new Formula E features a pool of top international names that all officially endorse the new FIA Formula E Championship and have expressed a willingness to race in the future.  There are now 24 (see full list below).  In addition, the Formula E Drivers’ Club will allow each member to experience the new fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car.

The latest drivers to add their names to the list include Jaime Alguersuari, Nicolas Minassian, Alex Brundle, Robert Doornbos, Christian Klien, Conor Daly, Katherine Legge and Ben Collins all showing their support for the new global electric racing series.

Formula Whizzzz

Of the eight new names – seven male and one female – Austrian Christian Klien, Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari and Dutchman Robert Doornbos have all raced in Formula One whilst American Conor Daly has tested for Force India.  Frenchman Nicolas Minassian is a former Peugeot factory driver and Le Mans 24 Hours podium finisher whilst Brit Alex Brundle – son of former F1 racer Martin – has raced in F3, F2 and sportscars, with fellow Brit Katherine Legge previously racing in IndyCar and DTM.  Meanwhile, British racer Ben Collins is a current stunt driver but is best known as the former ‘Stig’ from the BBC’s Top Gear program keeping 500 million viewers worldwide guessing over his identity for eight years.

Jaime Alguersuari said, “I’m very pleased to be joining the Formula E Drivers’ Club.  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-centers like London and Beijing.”

Robert Doornbos said, “I am really proud and happy to become part of the Formula E 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.  I’m positive that it will attract a lot of attention worldwide and sponsors will get to experience autosport on a new level.”

Alex Brundle said, “I am delighted to be included in the Formula E Drivers’ Club and to be part of a new age of motorsport competition.  The development of the car represents a new challenge in a forum which is innovative, sustainable and exciting.”

Ben Collins added, “I’m thrilled to have been selected to join the Drivers’ Club and to be a part of the development team that will shape the future of racing.”

FIA Formula E Championship – Drivers’ Club line-up (total = 24):

Daniel Abt (GER)

Christijan Albers (NLD)

Jaime Alguersuari (ESP)

Marco Andretti (USA)

Sébastien Bourdais (FRA)

Alex Brundle (GBR)

Sebastien Buemi (CHE)

Karun Chandhok (IND)

Ben Collins (GBR)

Conor Daly (USA)

Robert Doornbos (NLD)

Lucas di Grassi (BRA)

John R. Hildebrand Jr. (USA)

Ma Qing Hua (CHN)

Narain Karthikeyan (IND)

Christian Klien (AUT)

Katherine Legge (GBR)

Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA)

Nicolas Minassian (FRA)

Franck Montagny (FRA)

Takuma Sato (JPN)

Bruno Senna (BRA)

Oriol Servia (ESP)

Adrien Tambay (FRA)

Unfortunately, half of those drivers on the list are drivers who never made it in F1 which will make the series look like a runner-up group before the season even begins.  I also cannot imagine the appeal of race cars going past with a ‘whizzz’ rather than a ‘vroom’!