Formula E

Team-by-team analysis of the 2023 Formula E season: Customers beat manufacturers & crushed dreams in midfield

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

Formula-E-Race-Start-Mexico-City-Gen3

Much was new ahead of the 2023 Formula E season: The electric series introduced a new car with more power and new tires, teams changed drivers, and Maserati, McLaren and ABT stepped in to replace Mercedes, Venturi and Techeetah. The changes brought a new balance of power to the series - and ultimately led to Jake Dennis's first championship. Our season analysis.

After 564 laps, the 2023 Formula E season has come to an end. There were seven different race winners, twelve of the 22 drivers were on the podium - and with the exception of reserve drivers van der Linde (ABT Cupra), Beckmann (Andretti) and Merhi (Mahindra), all collected points. But even away from the facts, figures, data and statistics, the past season offered numerous stories. In this overview, we look back at how the year went for the racing teams.

Analysis: The 2023 season, team by team

1 | Envision Racing | 304 points

Race wins:
4

Pole pos.:
4

Lead laps:
148

Podiums:
9

It's taken nine years, but now Sylvain Filippi has finally arrived at the pinnacle of electric motorsport with Envision Racing. His protégé Nick Cassidy in particular was in top form in the 2023 season: The New Zealander recorded four victories and was involved in the title fight of the electric racing series until the penultimate race. Newcomer Sebastien Buemi, on the other hand, had some teething problems that saw him beaten by Cassidy in the teammate comparison (9-7 in qualifying, 10-6 in the race - both in Cassidy's favor).

For the Silverstone-based team, the decision to switch from Audi to Jaguar powertrains before the season was spot on. In the deciding race, Cassidy and Buemi were able to leave their gremlins from Berlin and the crash in London behind and collect enough points to finish the season ahead of the factory team. What a success!

BOTTOM LINE: The way Envision defeated Jaguar in the 2023 season had the aura of a "David and Goliath" story . This was possible thanks to a good team performance. Congratulations!

2 | Jaguar TCS Racing | 292 points

Race wins:
3

Pole pos.:
2

Lead laps:
119

Podiums:
9

With Mitch Evans and Sam Bird, Jaguar had on paper one of the strongest driver pairings in 2023 Formula E season - but there was little of that in reality. While Evans had his best season in the electric series to date, Bird far too rarely got to the level of his Kiwi teammate. The unnecessary accidents in Hyderabad and Jakarta, also provoked by Bird, most likely cost the "big cats" the teams' title.

And yet, looking back, there remains much that is positive for Jaguar. They were the only manufacturer able to take on Formula E powerhouse Porsche and were even faster and more efficient than the Germans on certain tracks. With a little more support from his teammate, Evans could probably have posted an even better result. So, once again, his only option is to hope for the title "maybe next year".

BOTTOM LINE: Behind Jaguar lies the strongest season in team history. Too many mistakes by Bird, however, prevented a better result.

3 | Avalanche Andretti | 252 points

Race wins:
2

Pole pos.:
2

Lead laps:
77

Podiums:
11

Andretti's 2023 season was a tale of two distinct halves. For while Jake Dennis showcased all his talent, broke records with fabulous consistency and was perfectly deserving of becoming World Drivers' Champion, Andre Lotterer had no chance in the teammate comparison. The bitter result: the German collected only 23 points, while Dennis scored 229. 91 percent of all Andretti points went to the British driver's account.

If Lotterer had been more competitive, Roger Griffiths' team might also have been able to fight for the title in the teams' standings. But either way, the U.S.-based squad will look back on the past season with satisfaction for the most part.

BOTTOM LINE: Lotterer's lack of form cost Andretti a better result. All the more brilliant was Jake Dennis, who is thoroughly deserving of his world championship title!

4 | TAG Heuer Porsche | 107 points

Race wins:
4

Pole pos.:
0

Lead laps:
82

Podiums:
6

Pascal Wehrlein started the season strongly, but then also dropped off sharply. Porsche built an exceedingly efficient powertrain for the 2023 season, but had one clear weakness throughout the year: qualifying performance. Only Porsche and Nio 333 failed to make it to pole position in the past season, and Wehrlein took the races on average only from P 9.9 on the grid. For someone who wants to become world champion, that's not enough.

With disappointing results in individual time trial sessoin, the German put too many obstacles in his own way in the second half of the year. Although he won in Jakarta, he lost all his shine on the home stretch of the year.

Antonio Felix da Costa, on the other hand, seemed to be doing well in his new environment. The Portuguese won in Cape Town after an outstanding battle with ex-teammate Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske) and also contested good races in other respects, however in qualifying, he was even more chanceless than Wehrlein (average grid position: 12.9).

BOTTOM LINE: Although statistically, Porsche completed their best season in team history, the disappointment over the messed-up qualifications should be great. Even the most efficient car won't help in that situation.

5 | DS Penske | 163 points

Race wins:
1

Pole pos.:
1

Lead laps:
41

Podiums:
3

Jean-Eric Vergne's season summary is one of severe disappointment. "I'm glad it's over now," he told e-Formula.news after the end of the year. "We have to improve, because currently we are just not good enough". How he still managed 5th place overall, he said, was a mystery even to himself after the poor second half of the season - despite the season starting so well with his victory in Hyderabad.

However, Vergne's teammate in the newly forged DS Penske alliance, defending champion Stoffel Vandoorne, cannot be satisfied with his season either. Apart from a more or less surprising pole-position in Sao Paulo, the Belgian rarely stepped into the spotlight and finished the season in only 11th place overall.

BOTTOM LINE: All in all, not a good year for the DS team, which had entered the season with the ambition of fighting for the world championship.

6 | Maserati MSG Racing | 140 points

Race wins:
1

Pole pos.:
2

Lead laps:
42

Podiums:
4

Thanks to a special regulatory arrangement and in cooperation with Team MSG, once known as Venturi, Maserati completed a solid but not fully satisfactory first year as a manufacturer. Hardly any driver duo in Formula E caused as much carnage as Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Günther. In London, the team is even said to have almost run out of front-wing spares.

Günther shone in Jakarta, when he won every timed session and only lost out in one race to his compatriot Pascal Wehrlein. He also recorded podiums in Berlin and Rome. Mortara, on the other hand, only drove at the front of the field in Italy and Great Britain, although he failed to achieve a top-three result in the course of the entire season. For the 2022 runner-up, that's not enough - next year, he'll need to get back to his form from previous years.

BOTTOM LINE: New team boss James Rossiter can be pleased with his first season as boss of a Formula E racing team. But a victory in Stellantis' internal duel against DS would have been possible.

7 | Nissan | 95 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos.:
1

Lead laps:
18

Podiums:
1

For years, Tommaso Volpe had been waiting for the Gen3 rulebook to be introduced. The Nissan team boss had only been able to manage his team's performance in recent years, rather than shape it, after the Gen2 twin-motor was banned in 2019 and set the constructor behind rivals in powertrain development. With the Gen3 car, Nissan finally had a chance to get back on par with its rivals. However, it did not fully succeed in 2023.

In particular, the start of the season was weak for Nissan. Its own customer team McLaren literally drove circles around the factory team's cars until a software update in Monaco put Nissan back on track. The overhaul is said to have improved traction when accelerating out of corners, and thanks to a new software version in Rome, it has become even more effective. The result: Two pole positions for Fenestraz (one he lost afterwards due to a rule violation), a podium for Nato, overall P7 in the teams' world championship.

BOTTOM LINE: The trend at Nissan is pointing upward - thanks in part to the pre-season acquisition of e.dams. In 2024, even race victories could possibly be possible.

8 | Neom McLaren | 88 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos.:
2

Lead laps:
14

Podiums:
1

Looking only at the former Mercedes team's results, Ian James might reflect on 2023 with disappointment. But it's not as bad as it seems at first glance: The papaya orange squad started the season with a podium for Rene Rast in Diriyya, while Jake Hughes had an impressive rookie year.

Especially in the latter part of the season, however, McLaren was only barely convincing. Rast and Hughes were regularly beaten by their Nissan marque colleagues and even lost seventh place in the championship to the Japanese. Significantly, McLaren scored 72 of their total 88 points in the first half of the year, only 16 in the second.

BOTTOM LINE: Strong start, weak end. Next year, McLaren must become more consistent, perhaps with a new driver pairing.

9 | Nio 333 Racing | 42 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos.:
0

Lead laps:
7

Podiums:
0

The upward trend of Nio 333 continued in 2023. Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara propelled the team forward last year, ensuring that they are now regular candidates for top-10 results in the E-Prix. Ticktum was particularly strong in qualifying, while Sette Camara's strengths seemed to lie more in the races themselves.

CONCLUSIONS: Nio 333's car is not the most efficient by a long shot, but with a good driver duo and work ethic, the team concluded its most successful season in years!

10 | Mahindra Racing | 41 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos.:
1

Lead laps:
11

Podiums:
1

While Nio 333 is one of the winners of the Gen3 rule set, Mahindra is one of its big losers. There were already problems with suppliers during the development phase of the M9Electro, which also caused problems for the manufacturer's customer team ABT Cupra. The relationship between the two teams reached its the low point of the season in Cape Town, when the overly unstable design of the rear suspensions caused bent wishbones and Mahindra had to pull out all cars for safety reasons.

With the suspension strengthened, there was little to be gained after that. Mahindra drove behind the field and made it only by luck into the points. The departure of Oliver Rowland mid-season, triggered by frustration with the tech package according to media reports, emphasized the Mahindra story in 2023. Rowland's replacement, Roberto Merhi, was as chanceless as the Briton himself.

BOTTOM LINE: Lucas di Grassi's pole and podium in Mexico are among the more curious stories of the season. That aside, Mahindra experienced little light and lots of shade.

11 | ABT Cupra | 21 points

Race wins:
0

Pole pos.:
1

Lead laps:
6

Podiums:
0

The team around principal Thomas Biermaier probably imagined their return to the Formula E paddock differently. The first phase of the ABT season was accompanied by misfortune and breakdowns: Due to delivery issues, the car was only ready to race few days before the pre-season test in Spain, a few weeks later, star driver Robin Frijns broke his hand at the season opener in Mexico. Then came the weekend withdrawal in Cape Town and plenty of frustration over the car's lack of speed. Frijns later even referred to the car as a "shitbox".

But ABT did land at least one coup: in rainy conditions in Berlin, the Dutchman sensationally took pole position! More points results followed for him and Nico Müller in the second half of the year, including Müller's sixth place in Rome. But more than the eleventh and thus last overall place was not posisble for ABT this year.

BOTTOM LINE: By external circumstances, presumably especially the powertrain package, ABT had little chances in the 2023 season. Since next year identical drivetrains will be used, optimism is unlikely to arise in the team before 2024.

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