Mahindra Coup! Nyck de Vries returns to Formula E, Mortara also switches teams
Nyck de Vries is back in Formula E! The 2021 World Champion, who competed for AlphaTauri in Formula 1 at the start of the year, was announced by Mahindra Racing on Wednesday morning as the new driver for the 2024 season. He will be joined by former Maserati driver Edoardo Mortara, who completes the Indian racing team's completely revamped line-up.
Disappointed faces spread at one-time Formula E giant Mahindra Racing as the 2023 season came to an end. Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Rowland and Roberto Merhi scored just 41 points last year, leaving the Indian squad in penultimate place in the overall standings. For 2024, therefore, a breath of fresh air was needed, and the team took it directly from Formula 1.
As Mahindra announced in a press release, Nyck de Vries will join the team for the 2024 season. The Dutchman already drove for Mercedes in Formula E between 2019 and 2022, winning the world championship in 2021. Thanks in part to a successful Formula 1 debut in 2022, in which he scored points for the then-underperforming Williams team, he got a regular cockpit in the "pinnacle of motorsports" for 2023 - and lost it again to Daniel Ricciardo after teething problems at the season's mid-way point.
After F1 exit: de Vries finds refuge with Mahindra
Now de Vries, who has recorded four wins, eight podiums, two pole positions and one world championship title in 42 Formula E races so far, finds refuge in the electric racing series again. "Coming back to Formula E will feel like coming home. I've been part of the Formula E family for three seasons, I know everybody very well. I'm looking forward to being back in a familiar environment, and to be back somewhere where ultimately, I've always enjoyed my racing."
At Mahindra, he will be joined by Edoardo Mortara, most recently part of Maserati MSG's roster. The Swiss is thus changing teams for the first time in his Formula E career. For MSG, which was called Venturi in Mortara's first years, he has so far scored six race wins, finished on the podium 13 times and collected a total of 422 points. In 2022, he finished second overall in the World Championship standings behind de Vries. Also curious: Before de Vries' Formula One switch, the Dutchman had signed a contract with Maserati and should have become Mortara's teammate already in 2023. Now the two find themselves together at Mahindra - according to the team "on multi-year deals".
"I'm extremely excited to be joining Mahindra Racing," said Edoardo Mortara. "It's a team that I've been looking at for several years now, they have been in Formula E since the beginning of the Championship, so there's a lot of experience there. What I could also feel from the people here is that we share the same values. We have a great project in front of us, but I can see a lot of determination and motivation from everyone in the team, and this is so important."
Mortara & de Vries expected to breathe new life into Mahindra
After a mixed Formula E year in 2023, Mortara is now hoping to build on old successes. However, it is uncertain whether he will succeed: the Mahindra package has recently been considered barely competitive and too inefficient, especially in race trim. No technological developments are allowed before the 2024 season, which is why de Vries and Mortara will have to prepare themselves for a tough season. Both are unlikely to fight for the title straight away - a success would already be to ensure just a few less disappointed faces at the end of the year.
"I am delighted to welcome Edo and Nyck to the Mahindra Racing family," team principal Frederic Bertrand commented. "As a team, we are all embarking on a journey to bring Mahindra Racing back to the front of the grid in the coming years. With their speed and experience, Nyck and Edo will play a key role in driving the team towards that goal, and I know everybody is feeling very motivated to work with them. Equally important for the team are the drivers' appetites for a long-term project, which makes them the perfect fit for Mahindra Racing at the beginning of this journey."
The starting signal for de Vries and Mortara's new season will be given during the official pre-season tests in 2023 between 23 and 27 October in Valencia. Afterwards, the Formula E squad will travel to Mexico City for the start of the new year, where the 2024 season will begin on 13 January.
Overview: Formula E transfers & rumours for the 2024 season
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|ABT Cupra||Nico Müller||Lucas di Grassi|
|Avalanche Andretti||Jake Dennis||Norman Nato|
|DS Penske||Jean-Eric Vergne||Stoffel Vandoorne|
|Envision Racing||Sebastien Buemi||Robin Frijns|
|Jaguar TCS Racing||Mitch Evans||Nick Cassidy|
|Mahindra Racing||Nyck de Vries||Edoardo Mortara|
|Maserati MSG Racing||Maximilian Günther||tbd|
|Neom McLaren||Jake Hughes||Sam Bird|
|Nio 333||Dan Ticktum||Sergio Sette Camara|
|Nissan||Sacha Fenestraz||Oliver Rowland|
|TAG Heuer Porsche||Pascal Wehrlein||Antonio Felix da Costa|
bold = officially confirmed