Formula E

Ahead of the 2023 season opener: The e-Formula.news team rating for the 9th Formula E season

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz

The 2023 Formula E World Championship starts in a few days (January 14) with the Mexico City E-Prix. But it's not just the vehicles that are new: no fewer than ten teams are entering the Gen3 era of the electric racing series with a new driver combination. How our editors rate the total of eleven driver duos, and who has the strongest pairing, you can find out in our team rating.

As usual, the editorial team of e-Formula.news also awarded points on a scale between 1 and 10 for all 22 Formula E drivers before the start of the season. The points for both drivers of a team were added together. We then ranked the duos according to their average "rating score" and commented on them. Enjoy the read!

The e-Formula.news team rating for the 2022/23 season

1st DS Penske | 9.5 points

Stoffel Vandoorne: 55 starts 3 wins 417 points | Jean-Eric Vergne: 98 starts 10 wins 887 points

It may be a new team, but it's the same manufacturer for Jean-Eric Vergne. However, things didn't go so well for the Frenchman, Formula E's only two-time champion, last season: for the first time in five years, Vergne went without a race win. He gets a very strong teammate in reigning Formula E world champion Stoffel Vandoorne, who, in addition to his high speed, has also shown outstanding consistency of late.

CONCLUSION: Both drivers already showed themselves strong in the pre-season tests in Valencia as well as at eye level. In our opinion, Vandoorne and Vergne form the best driver duo in the 2023 Formula E World Championship.

2nd TAG Heuer Porsche | 8.5 points

Antonio Felix da Costa: 96 starts 7 wins 574 points | Pascal Wehrlein: 48 starts 1 win 222 points

Porsche works driver Pascal Wehrlein won the Mexico City E-Prix last year. The long-awaited first race win for the squad from Weissach was a show of power, as Wehrlein's teammate at the time, Andre Lotterer, crossed the finish line immediately behind him. However, it was the only time in the past season that Wehrlein was able to shine. Nevertheless, the German's potential is obvious. In his third year with the team, he now gets a new teammate: Antonio Felix da Costa, seven-time race winner and Season 6 champion. The Portuguese is one of the most experienced and successful drivers in the racing series and moved from DS Techeetah to Porsche.

CONCLUSION: With two winning drivers on board, Porsche has one of the best prerequisites for the start of the Gen3 era. We expect a lot from the duo Felix da Costa and Wehrlein!

3rd Maserati MSG Racing | 8.5 points

Max Günther: 52 starts 3 wins 161 points | Edoardo Mortara: 63 starts 6 wins 383 points

That Maserati comes as a new manufacturer in Formula E does not have to mean at the same time that the team is inexperienced: many staff:inside the team have already been able to gain years of Formula E experience in the service of Venturi, including Edoardo Mortara. The Swiss is entering his sixth season with the Monegasque team. In three-time Formula E race winner Max Günther, he gets a new and very fast teammate. Günther has shown that the team and he are very well prepared for the start of the season with several best times in the tests in Valencia.

Of course, that's also down to the powertrain: the electric motor in the Maserati comes from Group sister DS Automobiles, which has already developed successful powertrains in the past. For example, DS-powered cars have each won two drivers' and team titles in Formula E, and a DS driver has also won at least one race in every season since the French company entered the competition.

CONCLUSION: A fast, experienced road course specialist meets a young driver who also has several years of Formula E experience. A pairing with a lot of potential, in our opinion!

4th Jaguar TCS Racing | 8.0 points

Sam Bird: 98 starts 11 wins 743 points | Mitch Evans: 79 starts 6 wins 536 points

Sam Bird and Mitch Evans form the only consistent driver pairing ahead of Formula E's ninth season: while Bird is entering his third Jaguar season, it is Evans' seventh. In sporting terms, things went very differently for the two drivers: Evans fought for the title in the past two years right up to the end of the season and was only narrowly defeated in the end. Bird's form has recently declined sharply. Last season was the first time he failed to win a race. In the overall standings, he finished in only 13th place, despite a car that was obviously capable of winning and taking the title.

In the preseason, Bird was the best driver of the season.

During pre-season testing, Jaguar failed to impress, although the pace was good in race mode at 300 kW. Bird and Evans may also have been holding their cards close to their chest in Valencia as to how good the Jaguar I-Type 6 actually is.

CONCLUSION: Jaguar enters 2023 with one of the most successful and experienced driver duos in the racing series. If both drivers are to fight for the world championship title, Sam Bird will have to find his way back to his old strength.

5th Avalanche Andretti | 7.5 points

Jake Dennis: 31 starts 3 wins 217 points | Andre Lotterer: 67 starts 0 wins 340 points

For four seasons, the team raced with BMW powertrains; in 2023, Avalanche Andretti now competes with Porsche customer engines. After three race wins with the team in the past two years, the contract extension with Jake Dennis was just a formality. The 27-year-old Briton will have a very experienced teammate in Andre Lotterer. However, the German, who is also involved in the endurance program of drive supplier Porsche in addition to his involvement in Formula E, is still waiting for his first Formula E victory.

FAZIT: Andretti has a very solid driver pairing in 2023 with two potential candidates for victory, depending on the day's form. We see the combination of Dennis and Lotterer in the upper midfield.

6th Mahindra Racing | 7.5 points

Lucas di Grassi: 100 starts 13 wins 1009 points | Oliver Rowland: 56 starts 1 win 263 points

Mahindra Racing enters the Gen3 era with a powertrain developed by ZF Friedrichshafen. With ABT Cupra, the Indians even have a customer team for the first time in the process and can draw on data from four cars for the further development of the car. Oliver Rowland is entering his second season with the team and, in Lucas di Grassi, will have the most experienced driver in Formula E as a teammate. The 2016/17 champion never finished a Formula E season worse than 7th place, and in fact always finished in the top three in his first five seasons. Rowland stood out in his Formula E time with strong qualifying pace, but often also because of his borderline duel behavior.

CONCLUSION: Di Grassi may no longer be the top driver in Formula E, but on a good day he is still one of the best drivers in the racing series. Rowland will have to be measured against that. For us, the driver pairing is right up there with Andretti.

7th ABT Cupra | 6.6 points

Robin Frijns: 76 starts 2 wins 448 points | Nico Müller: 17 starts 0 wins 30 points

Formula E founding member ABT returns to Formula E after a year of abstinence. An agreement has been reached with India's Mahindra team to supply customer engines. The team signed two drivers with Formula E experience: Robin Frijns, who already drove for ABT in the DTM, was brought in from Envision after four years. Here, the Dutchman won two races, but has been waiting for another victory since the 2019 New York City E-Prix. His teammate is Nico Müller, who scored the only podium finish in the last four years for Dragon Racing under fortunate circumstances. Previously, the Swiss was a test and reserve driver with the Audi factory team.

CONCLUSION: ABT has two drivers with Formula E experience on board, but the duo is Formula E mediocrity in our opinion. Müller will have to prove himself after his difficult to rate Dragon time, Frijns must finally get big points again.

8th Envision Racing | 6.6 points

Sebastien Buemi: 98 starts 13 wins 834 points | Nick Cassidy: 31 starts 1 win 144 points

The former Audi customer team Envision will compete with Jaguar engines in 2023. Nick Cassidy, who celebrated his first Formula E race win at the aborted New York City in 2022, will remain with the team. His new teammate is a very prominent newcomer: Sebastien Buemi, Season 2 champion and one of the most successful drivers in the racing series, left the former e.dams team after eight seasons, which has since been completely taken over by Nissan. However, the Swiss driver's last success was a long time ago: he has been waiting for a victory in Formula E since the 2019 New York City E-Prix.

At the Valencia test, however, Buemi in particular got little driving done after technical problems and an accident on Friday morning, and could still need more time to settle in.

CONCLUSION: Sebastien Buemi needs to show at Envision that his poor form in recent years was really down to the technically inferior Nissan powertrain. Cassidy needs to become more consistent. For us, the driver duo is only in the midfield.

9th Nio 333 | 6.4 points

Sergio Sette Camara: 36 starts 0 wins 18 points | Daniel Ticktum: 16 starts 0 wins 1 point

Nio 333 enters the 2023 Formula E season at a distinct disadvantage: The Chinese are the only one of the six Formula E manufacturers not to have a customer team, so they have also had significantly less testing time than the competition. Not to mention less data during pre-season testing.

In terms of drivers, an era came to an end in 2022 after more than seven years with Nio 333: Oliver Turvey contested his last race for the team in Seoul. From now on, the Briton will be a reserve driver and sports consultant at DS Penske. His former teammate Dan Ticktum will be partnered by Sergio Sette Camara, a diamond in the rough, in his second Formula E season. Sette Camara was responsible for the only bright spots at Dragon Racing over the past year and a half, even if he occasionally took too much of a risk to fight for good results in the underperforming car.

CONCLUSION: Sette Camara and Ticktum are two very strong young drivers, but neither has achieved much in Formula E yet. Even though the ratings of our editorial team differ widely, especially in the case of Daniel Ticktum, we therefore rate the duo as rather weak overall.

10th Neom McLaren | 5.8 points

Jake Hughes: 0 starts 0 wins 0 points | Rene Rast: 22 starts 0 wins 107 points

New name, familiar team: McLaren has taken over the successful Mercedes-EQ squad following the Stuttgart-based company's Formula E exit, but is changing the driver duo. Formula E returnee Rene Rast will sit alongside debutant Jake Hughes in the cockpit of the papaya-colored bolides. Hughes is familiar with the team, however, because he was already a test and reserve driver for Mercedes-EQ last season (and for ROKiT Venturi Racing alongside it). Also on the drive side something changes with the team, which goes now with customer drives of Nissan to the start.

The promising form at the pre-season tests in Valencia definitely speaks for the team. But that wasn't about points and championships either...

CONCLUSION: The most successful team of recent years starts the season with one of the most inexperienced driver combinations. The potential of newcomer Hughes in particular is still difficult to assess. For our editorial team, McLaren is therefore not one of the favorites.

11th Nissan | 5.1 points

Sacha Fenestraz: 1 start 0 wins 0 points | Norman Nato: 16 starts 1 win 54 points

Norman Nato, who won the 2021 Berlin E-Prix with Venturi, is a new addition to the Nissan factory team this season. So is his teammate, Franco-Argentine Sacha Fenestraz. Both have already worked together as test and reserve drivers at Jaguar in the preseason and also competed in the Seoul E-Prix in that position: Nato took a seat in the Jaguar as a replacement for Sam Bird, while Fenestraz replaced Antonio Giovinazzi, also injured in the hand, for Dragon Racing in Sunday's race.

CONCLUSION: On paper, Nissan has by far the most inexperienced driver pairing. In our eyes, the Japanese should have a very hard time with it.

This is how the editorial team voted:
Team Tobias Bluhm Tobias Wirtz Timo Pape Svenja König Durchschnitt
DS Penske 10 9.0 9.5 9.5 9.500
TAG Heuer Porsche 9 7 8.5 9.5 8.500
Maserati MSG 8 8.5 8.5 9 8.500
Jaguar TCS Racing 8.5 7.5 8.5 7.5 8.000
Avelanche Andretti 7.5 6.5 8 8 7.500
Mahindra Racing 7.5 7 7.5 8 7.500
ABT Cupra 7.5 5 7 7 6.625
Envision Racing 7 5.5 7 7 6.625
Nio 333 Racing 7.5 3.5 7 7.5 6.375
Neom McLaren 6.5 4 6 6.5 5.750
Nissan 6 3.5 5.5 5.5 5.125

 

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