As the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship gets ready to embark on its tenth season, let’s take a trip back through memory lane and look at the major manufacturers that have raced in this all-electric championship.
Huge names have always gravitated to Formula E for several reasons. Of course, the incredible racing spectacle and gorgeous calendar locations come to mind, but a lot of them use the championship as a test bed for their road car technologies – making it a laboratory for the future of electric mobility!
One of the first teams to commit to Formula E was Mahindra. The Indian multinational automotive manufacturing corporation is based in Mumbai, and is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers by production in their home country. Their specialities are automotive, however they also produce farm equipment! During their time in Formula E, they have entered 115 races, won five E-Prix and stood on the podium an impressive 24 times.
The first constructor involved in Formula E, Renault knew this was the place to be from the beginning. The iconic French manufacturer lined up on the starting grid for the championship’s first race in 2014, with Nicolas Prost achieving the championship’s first-ever pole position for the e.dams-Renault squad. During their time in the series, the Renault-affiliated team won the Teams’ Championship over three consecutive seasons. Sebastien Buemi also lifted the Drivers’ Championship with the team’s help during a nail-biting Season 2 campaign. For Season 5, Renault became the Nissan outfit.
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Another key player in the championship’s early days: Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team. Fronted by Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi, the team made history on debut as di Grassi became Formula E’s first race winner in Beijing. Over the next few seasons, the team continued to improve and picked up more victories. In Season 3, di Grassi secured the Drivers’ Title with the Audi Sport-supported ABT team, before Audi became the first German car manufacturer to take part in Formula E with a factory team for Season 4. That same season they won the Teams’ Championship.
This French manufacturer recently celebrated 100 races in Formula E with a special gold livery on the DS PENSKE, however it’s not always been associated with that team. Joining Formula E in Season 2 with the Virgin Racing team, several drivers have represented DS over the years including champions Jean-Eric Vergne, Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne.
The luxury car manufacturer made a big motorsport comeback when it entered Formula E during Season 3. The championship has offered the British team a unique chance for Jaguar Land Rover to develop their EV technology for their road cars, as they plan to go fully-electric by 2025. Hitting 100 race entries later this season, Jaguar TCS Racing have picked up 12 wins from their time in the championship, in addition to 32 podiums and seven Julius Baer Pole Positions.
Before it was NIO, China Racing and was the second team to announce its involvement in Formula E. They won the inaugural Drivers’ Championship with Nelson Piquet Jr, before being rebranded as NIO as part of the NEXTEV team in Season 3. The Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer specialises in electric vehicles and remained a key part of the championship until the end of Season 9 when it rebranded to ERT Formula E Team. During its time under the NIO brand, the team achieved two pole positions and a podium finish in Mexico.
Another German giant made their mark in Formula E, when BMW partnered with Andretti Autosport in Season 5. The manufacturer had always been involved with the all-electric championship since the beginning, supplying the BMW i8 safety car and i3 medical and course cars. The team also had great success when it was BMW i Andretti Motorsport, winning seven races over three seasons. Andretti has continued to keep the team, and recently crowned Jake Dennis the Drivers’ World Champion.
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Renault passed the baton to Nissan from Season 5. They became the first Japanese automotive brand to line-up on the Formula E grid, partnering with e.Dams until Season 9 when they became their own entity. Since Nissan joined the all-electric championship, they’ve won two races and last year stood on the podium – their first piece of silverware as the standalone Nissan outfit.
The Mercedes name made its way to Formula E officially in Season 6. They had kept an ear close to the ground the year prior, with their affiliates at HWA before officially entering as a manufacturer. The Silver Arrows experienced their first race at the 2019 Diriyah E-Prix where Stoffel Vandoorne achieved a podium on debut, with the Belgian star taking the team to winning ways at the end of the season. For Seasons 7 and 8, Mercedes got stronger and won the Teams’ Championship over two consecutive years as well as crowning both their drivers, Nyck de Vries and Vandoorne, World Champions, respectively.
Season 6 also welcomed TAG Heuer Porsche to the roster. Formula E now had the ‘big four’ of German manufacturers on the grid – Porsche, Mercedes, Audi and BMW. An incredible achievement. Over their 58 race entries, they have won five races and stood on the podium 13 times. During Season 9, the team also confirmed their commitment to Formula E until Season 12 of the all-electric championship.
Upon the arrival of GEN3, Formula E’s fastest, lightest and most efficient car yet, Maserati wanted in and became the latest historic manufacturer to join the championship. The landmark moment saw the Maserati name back in single seater motorsport for the first time in more than 60 years, partnering with the MSG group. Maximilian Guenther achieved a win for the squad in their first year, becoming the first driver since the late great Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957 to be victorious for Maserati in single seaters.
CUPRA Racing made its debut in Season 9, linking up with ABT Sportsline. The Spanish manufacturer had also been participating in Extreme E, but recently announced it was entirely focusing on Formula E for 2024. In their first year, ABT CUPRA managed to lock out the front-row for the Berlin E-Prix Round 8.
The famous papaya team also arrived on the grid for GEN3, taking over the Mercedes team. In their first year of Formula E, NEOM McLaren not only secured two pole positions, but found themselves on the podium in Diriyah. McLaren Racing celebrated their 60th anniversary during Season 9, and will hope that they’ll be able to collect even more silverware during their second campaign in 2024.
In addition to the above, there have also been other huge additions to the championship that shape it into the high-respected and loved racing series that it is today. Names like ABT Schaeffler, Andretti Technologies, Penske and Venturi are just some of the other groups that created Formula E into what it is today.