With pre-season testing currently underway for season four of the FIA Formula E championship, many teams have used the opportunity to explore driver options for the season ahead.
The pre-season testing in Valencia is welcoming seven new drivers, and below is a quick “who’s who” guide to the new talent we can expect on track over the next three days.
MS&AD Andretti Formula E Team
Blomqvist, a British racing driver, currently competes in DTM and is a BMW Works Driver. Despite being just 23, his career history in DTM is highly impressive with 52 races to his name, as well as five podiums, two pole positions and a win. He previously competed in DTM with da Costa at BMW Motorsport in the German touring car championship, before da Costa decided to leave DTM to pursue a full-time career in Formula E.
Blomqvist will be spending more time in the car than Alexander Sims, who is a second driver MS&AD Andretti will be trialling over the test, spending two full days and one half day in the car around the Valencia circuit.
Another British talent, Sims is also a BMW Works driver. Having shown his motorsport talent from an early age, winning the respected McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2008, he has since gone on to compete in GP3, LMP2 and is also an official McLaren GT driver. Sims also has experience in F3, having returned to the championship for the finale in Hockenheim last year.
His experience in both single seaters and endurance racing, makes him a solid choice for Andretti.
Dragon’s latest signing is Swiss racing driver Neel Jani. Most known for his time in WEC with Porsche, Jani has also gained experience in GP2, A1 Grand Prix and notably won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2016.
Just as Andre Lotterer, who has also joined Formula E ahead of season four, Jani has lost his Porsche seat in the World Endurance Championship as the team announced they would be departing the LMP1 programme in favour of Formula E.
Both Lotterer and Jani currently compete in WEC together, both driving their Porsche 919 Hybrid. The signing of Jani to Dragon could be a sensible move if Jani plans on driving for Porsche when they officially join Formula E in season six.
Techeetah Formula E Team
Already confirmed for a season four race seat with Techeetah, pairing Jean-Eric Vergne, Lotterer makes for a fantastic addition to the championship.
Most known for his WEC career, Lotterer makes yet another driver transition from World Endurance to all-electric Formula E. However this decision may be more of a drive to fill a gap, rather than an admiration for the sport.
With the news that Porsche are to pull out of the LMP1 programme to focus on Formula E, Lotterer was left without a future WEC seat – a situation he had been in only a year earlier when Audi also announced it was to leave WEC for Formula E
His racing talent is evident with an impressive racing resume, including a F1 race start with Caterham at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, as well as success in Super Formula and Super GT.
Venturi Formula E Team
Italian racer Mortara is currently racing in DTM with Mercedes, having almost won the championship with Audi in 2016, missing out on the title by just four points.
Before his stint in DTM, Mortara found success in F3 Euro Series and won the respected championship in 2010. As a result of his performance, Audi snapped him up for the start of his DTM career and he remained with the team until the end of last year.
Now with Mercedes, Mortara will already be familiar with possible team-mate-to-be Maro Engel, with Engel also a full-time DTM driver with Mercedes.
Edoardo Mortara will be testing the Venturi car for two full days and Tuesday afternoon.
Just 17-years-old, Benyahia will be the youngest ever driver to publically drive a Formula E car. Despite not being considered for the full-time race seat available, he will be driving the Venturi on Tuesday morning around the Valencia circuit.
It is understood that Benyahia will be assisting Venturi with their simulation work, rather than as a race driver with the team. The young Moroccan driver has experience in karting and Formula 4, and has previously helped promote the Marrakesh ePrix which is returning to the 2017/18 Formula E Calendar.
Rossiter, a former F1 test driver for the likes of Force India, BAR Honda and Super Aguri, is another driver who has their eyes on the Venturi seat.
Currently racing in Super GT and the Super Formula Championship, Rossiter has also recently been called up for LMP2 duties. The British driver is going to be competing at the Japanese WEC round next month, replacing DS Virgin Racing driver Alex Lynn as he has more testing commitments for the DS Virgin team.
Rossiter has experience of WEC, having driven for the ByKolles privateer LMP1 team in Spa back in May. He was also poised to compete in Le Mans this year, however a clash of calendars resulted in Rossiter instead testing his Super GT with the TOM’s Lexus team.