Drivers unmasked

Formula E has signed up 18 names to its driver programme, it was announced today. Series promoter FEH confirmed Sebastien Buemi, Marco Andretti, Karun Chandhok, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Adrien Tambay, Ma Qing Hua, Lucas di Grassi and Takuma Sato have joined its “drivers’ club”, giving them the opportunity to test in the Spark Renault racing car and affirming their desire to race in the new sport.

A further 10 drivers will be named in the coming weeks. The Formula E grid will call for 20 drivers, two per team.

The news means that di Grassi is no longer the sole official Formula E test driver, which means that he can continue to test for Formula E and hope to secure a racing seat, which looked in jeopardy after an FIA ruling late last year. Image courtesy of The Verge.

Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi, Indian driver Karun Chandhok, Italy’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, Lucas di Grassi from Brazil and Japanese driver Takuma Sato have all previously raced in Formula One, while China’s Ma Qing Hua has been a test driver for both HRT and Caterham F1. USA racer Marco Andretti – son of the legendary Michael Andretti – is one of IndyCar’s top drivers finishing fifth in 2013, while Frenchman Adrien Tambay has raced in Formula 3, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5 and more recently DTM.

FEH head Alejandro Agag said: “Now that we’ve announced all 10 teams, everyone is keen to find out who the drivers will be. We cannot confirm any drivers just yet as it will be down to the individual teams to select who fills their seats. However, we hope by offering them a ‘pool’ of top international drivers to choose from – all of whom support the new series – we can deliver on this promise of providing close, entertaining racing.”

“I’m very happy to be a part of the new Formula E Drivers’ Club,” said Buemi. “The calendar is very strong and brings the racing to the fans, and the new Formula E car looks like it will be a lot of fun to drive.”

Andretti said: “This revolutionary racing series, paired with some of the world’s best drivers, competing in top cities, will set a new standard for motorsport. I’m really looking forward to getting into the cockpit of one of these cars.”

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