The Formula E grid continues to grow in talent and quality ahead of the eighth season of the all-electric series, which will be the final year of the Gen2 era.
There have been several driver changes from 2021, with just five of the 11 teams retaining the same line-up. Fifteen drivers have experienced the feeling of winning an E-Prix, underlining the strength of the field.
However, there are still some notable differences between the best and worst drivers as we delve into.
11) Dragon: Sergio Sette Camara – Antonio Giovinazzi
Sergio Sette Camara had a disappointing first full campaign in the championship, failing to get to grips with the unique nature of a Gen2 Formula E car. The Brazilian could be in for more of the same in 2022.
Antonio Giovinazzi struggled to shine in Formula 1 and he has a mighty task ahead of him to not endure a similar experience in Formula E. It feels like it could go either way with Giovinazzi, he could surprise the field or he will have a very quiet season.
10) Nio: Oliver Turvey – Dan Ticktum
Oliver Turvey has had a tricky spell at Nio since 2020, not showing any glimpses of the spectacular performances he had in his early Formula E career. His one lap pace has diminished which has put him on the backfoot at most events.
Turvey is joined by the polarising figure of Dan Ticktum, who has put his Formula 1 dreams to one side in the hope of having success in Formula E.
On paper, Ticktum should have excellent raw pace and he is typically strong at street circuits, winning the Macau F3 race on two occasions.
The key for the British driver will be learning to choose his fights in the race and to not get too frustrated. Ticktum‘s racecraft will be seriously tested this year.
9) Andretti: Jake Dennis – Oliver Askew
Jake Dennis proved he has the potential to be a Formula E champion with an outstanding rookie season for BMW i Andretti last season. BMW, as a manufacturer, have departed the series, so it might be tough for Dennis to replicate his performance from 2021.
Meanwhile, Oliver Askew has made a surprise move from IndyCar to Formula E. Just like Giovinazzi and Ticktum, Askew faces an uphill challenge of getting up to speed and understanding the complex nature of driving an electric car, with limited track time each weekend.
8) Porsche: Pascal Wehrlein – Andre Lotterer
It’s remarkable to think both Pascal Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer are yet to win a race in Formula E, given they have 81 race starts between them.
On his day, Wehrlein can mix it with the best as he proved when he dominated the 2021 Puebla E-Prix, only to be disqualified for a technical infringement. Wehrlein‘s inconsistency lets him down and he will have to change that if he is to become a title contender.
There’s no doubt Lotterer is past his peak, and is often second-best to Wehrlein by a significant margin. Qualifying has let the three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner down recently and it would be a major surprise if Lotterer can improve his raw speed.
7) Nissan: Maximilian Gunther – Sebastien Buemi
Maximilian Gunther has switched teams over the winter to join Nissan, in a move which might bring out the best from the German. Gunther remains the youngest driver to win an E-Prix and he has plenty of potential to mount a title challenge.
It will be fascinating to see whether Gunther will quickly become the team’s lead driver. If he does, it would be a blow to Sebastien Buemi who is desperately looking for an upturn in form.
Buemi appeared to slowly lose his confidence last year and the big question is whether it was a one-off or the start of his demise.
6) Mahindra: Alexander Sims – Oliver Rowland
Alexander Sims has had plenty of bad luck during his time in Formula E, stopping him from gaining momentum and putting together a string of strong results.
Sims has the quality to find extraordinary qualifying laps from nowhere and he plays a clean, fair game in the race. He needs to find that extra gear though to become a top driver in the series.
Oliver Rowland is Sims‘ new teammate to make an all-British line-up at Mahindra. Rowland is outstanding over one lap, with the ability to push the limits when it matters most.
Race pace and efficiency is the area where Rowland can improve, but that should come in the next few years.
5) Envision: Robin Frijns – Nick Cassidy
Robin Frijns is arguably the most underrated driver in Formula E, consistently punching above his weight to compete with the best drivers.
The Dutchman is very wise in wheel to wheel combat and nearly always challenges for the podium when he qualifies towards the front of the grid.
Nick Cassidy had a slightly underwhelming first season in Formula E in the 2021 season, but there were signs that he can be a race winner and regularly contest for the top five.
Consistency will be Cassidy‘s biggest problem, as his bad days can quickly turn into a nightmare.
4) Venturi: Lucas di Grassi – Edoarda Mortara
Venturi could be the dark horses for the upcoming season with a very exciting driver pairing.
Edoardo Mortara was so close to becoming champion in 2021, missing out on the opportunity to properly race for the title due to a start line crash.
Mortara comfortably beat former teammate Norman Nato and is excellent at picking the right time to attack and collecting valuable points.
He will race alongside Lucas di Grassi this year, as the Season 3 champion switches team for the first time in his Formula E career. Di Grassi is a wily old fox who loves the gamesmanship and strategic element of the championship. Qualifying remains Di Grassi‘s big weakness, but he’s one of the best racers in the field.
3) Mercedes: Nyck de Vries – Stoffel Vandoorne
Despite being the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships holders, Mercedes are third on our list. Nyck de Vries will be looking to become just the second driver to defend his title and he will almost certainly need to raise his game.
De Vries made the most of his race-winning opportunities, which was the key to his championship triumph. However, the 2021 season was chaotic, even for Formula E standards, and you could argue his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was just as impressive and only missed out on being a title contender due to bad luck.
Both Mercedes drivers have adapted very well to the all-electric series but this year will be the real test to see if they can remain at the top of the pecking order.
2) DS Techeetah: Jean-Eric Vergne – Antonio Felix da Costa
The only all-champion driver pairing on the grid remains Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa at DS Techeetah.
You can’t discredit the speed and attacking nature of Vergne and Da Costa, as they always create exciting racing when charging through the field.
The new qualifying format will favour the drivers who are strong over one lap, so expect the DS Techeetah pair to be at the very sharp end of the grid.
Financial issues have plagued the team in recent years, but that won’t stop Vergne and Da Costa from challenging for the title.
1) Jaguar: Mitch Evans – Sam Bird
Jaguar‘s driver line-up of Mitch Evans and Sam Bird just edges the other top teams in our ranking. Although Evans and Bird are yet to win a championship, they are a pairing which have no weaknesses.
You could argue that Vergne at DS Techeetah is a little inconsistent, or the Mercedes drivers don’t have the best racecraft. Evans and Bird have none of those issues, delivering every weekend.
Bird is excellent at overtaking and has the natural speed which any Formula E team would love to have. Meanwhile, Evans was arguably the most impressive driver in last year’s manic season and will almost certainly be right up there once again.
There’s very little to separate the field, but if you analyse speed, consistency, racecraft and experience, Jaguar come out on top.
What do you think of our list? Let us know in the comments!