The Drayson Racing Formula E team looks to be replaced by an Italian group led by former F1 racing driver Jarno Trulli and ex-Maserati and Ferrari GT boss Claudio Berro.
That’s according to a story run today by Autosport, but largely tallies with what Current E was told earlier this week.
Trulli has already had experience of the Spark-Renault racing car, having recently undertaken testing in France (pictured above, with Spark boss Frederic Vasseur).
The loss of the team named for boss Lord Drayson will be a blow for the series. Drayson was one of the sport’s earliest pioneers, acting as scientific advisor in the early stages before entering his team – the first of the series – in January 2013.
Drayson has also been working closely with Qualcomm Halo, which will be supplying wireless charging technologies to Formula E. The outfit also has a partnership with Michelin, the official Formula E tyre supplier, for its record-breaking runs.
Autosport doesn’t detail the reasons behind the withdrawal. According to our sources, Drayson had got as far as recruiting technical crews and selecting its drivers, making the about-turn even more remarkable. Failing to secure sponsors or new business opportunities in the group restricting resources could be contributing factors, although Drayson, Trulli and Formula E organiser FEH are all yet to comment.
The team took part this week’s shakedown test of the first batch of Spark-Renault Formula E racers with former Indy Lights champion Jean-Karl Vernay driving its car.
The group’s plans to take Drayson’s place on the Formula E grid are understood to be at an advanced stage and confirmation is expected early next week should the FIA approve the change to the entry list.