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HomeSportsF1 racingRaceFans' Top 10 Formula E drivers of 2022 · RaceFans

RaceFans’ Top 10 Formula E drivers of 2022 · RaceFans

The 2022 Formula E season led to mid-August – so way back that pre-season testing for subsequent yr’s championship is now simply days away. But regardless of the bizarre calendar, it’s a becoming time to look again at a season which noticed some standout performances as drivers grappled with the top of the Gen2 period.

A renewed qualifying format did its meant job of producing a extra consultant championship battle on the entrance, relatively than leaving greater than ten drivers vying for the crown on the final spherical. In the second yr of a double homologation for powertrains, it was nonetheless Jaguar and Mercedes-powered vehicles on the entrance of the sector.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Mitch Evans’ title rivalry was refreshingly respectful – unsurprisingly give the friendship between the 2 – and ran till the top of the ultimate race, the 2 pushing one another to the chequered flag. The groups’ championship was equally fierce, with Venturi not letting their powertrain provider Mercedes run away with the title. What would possibly seem like simple dominance from Mercedes, taking each championships for the previous two years, was something however.

10 – Antonio Felix da Costa – Techeetah

Da Costa couldn’t match his crew mate

A ultimate season at DS Techeetah was a bit of nameless for Antonio Felix da Costa. The automotive, homologated for the previous two seasons, was by no means as dominant as its two predecessors – a mid-season powertrain swap final yr leaving the crew scrabbling for solutions. But Da Costa nonetheless took a win within the second New York spherical and poles in Marrakech and the ultimate Seoul race.

Quick although he clearly was over a single lap, the Seoul spherical summarised what Da Costa was up towards, because the Mercedes-powered Venturi of Edoardo Mortara handed him simply, early within the race. Da Costa additionally didn’t fairly appear to have the ability to discover the efficiency crew mate Jean-Eric Vergne might, this season, typically discovering himself bogged into the risky midfield.

9 – Lucas di Grassi – Venturi

Di Grassi had raced in each Formula E race

Lucas di Grassi has held numerous data over the course of his Formula E profession. This yr, the one he comes away with is being the final remaining driver to have competed in each single spherical of Formula E – fairly actually a participation trophy. However, spectacular as it’s, it’s a report he’s unlikely to notably treasure.

Di Grassi was pressured to modify groups for the 2022 season, the primary time he had ever pushed in Formula E exterior of the ABT-Audi squad. Whether it was the trickiness of transferring to a brand new crew’s setup (though very restricted by way of trackside personnel, each FE crew is dramatically totally different operationally) it was a comparatively gradual begin to the yr for Di Grassi, with crew mate Edoardo Mortara scoring three wins earlier than Di Grassi had managed a second podium. However, he did make good on final yr’s misplaced London win by taking the highest step within the second race there this yr.

Di Grassi has stated he’ll cease racing when he thinks he’s not aggressive, relatively than carrying on for the sake of getting a seat – however together with his transfer to Mahindra for the approaching season, there doesn’t appear to be any danger of that occuring any time quickly.

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8 – Nick Cassidy – Envision

Cassidy took a win within the shorterned first New York race

Nick Cassidy stayed with the Envision crew for his second season in Formula E, after a comparatively quiet rookie season. He took his first win in New York, the one time the crew took the highest step this yr. Cassidy’s rising confidence with the format and sequence, in addition to the crew, appeared to iron out some early-season issues with race administration, seeing a giant uptick in his factors haul in the direction of the top of the yr and a few intelligent driving that noticed him become familiar with the guts of the sequence.

Cassidy’s win had come underneath a purple flag, after drivers left on what had been basically slicks by the ultimate levels of a race helplessly aquaplaned off-track following a New York downpour. Before that, nonetheless, he’d needed to bide his time and regain the lead from Di Grassi, managing Attack Mode with the persistence to simply accept dropping locations.

7 – Robin Frijns – Envision

Frijns was spectacular regardless of not profitable

Never the driving force to characteristic most within the limelight, it was as if Robin Frijns had donned camouflage for lots of this season. Winless for the second yr working, he nonetheless remained in title competition for almost all of the season and often on the sharp finish of issues.

Nonetheless, he completed with almost double Cassidy’s factors haul and was 4 locations larger within the championship. Of the groups who’d discovered themselves deserted by their powertrain producer, Envision had numerous the identical struggles as Andretti in coping with the lack of the Audi manufacturing facility crew.

Frijns’ laid-back strategy to nearly the whole lot belies fairly how formidable he’s on monitor, even in equipment seemingly worse than the vehicles round him. He was one of many drivers most frequently within the qualifying duels and though he didn’t handle to lodge as many factors as Stoffel Vandoorne, he was one among a really small variety of drivers with no retirements. His 4 podiums (two second, two third) got here from having the ability to make the most of conditions round him. Frijns’ ability, notably in any type of mixed-up climate situations, was in maintaining it on monitor and within the factors, regardless.

6 – Pascal Wehrlein – Porsche

Victory in Mexico was Wehrlein’s spotlight

Porsche’s struggles in Formula E have hidden Wehrlein’s skills considerably. A very clumsy operational error when the crew did not declare its tyre set appropriately robbed him of the marque’s first win in 2021 however didn’t appear to dim his keenness to lastly get there. A switchover within the crew’s administration following the opening Diriyah rounds this season appeared to immediate a change, with Porsche taking its first single seater win with Wehrlein this season on the third spherical in Mexico

Aside from a second consecutive season of constructing skilled crew mate Andre Lotterer look comparatively extraordinary, Wehrlein appears to have discovered his toes and a renewed vitality for growth with Porsche. One of the various drivers who got here to Formula E considerably crushed – and in a attempting contractual state of affairs – from Formula 1, he nonetheless introduced a ruthless competitiveness that each fits Porsche’s motorsport ambitions and heritage and has served him effectively on monitor.

The single win in Mexico was historic, for him and Porsche however his general efficiency within the crew, together with and past that time, was extra spectacular.

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5 – Jake Dennis – Andretti

London noticed victory for Dennis

Jake Dennis technically didn’t transfer groups between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, remaining with the Andretti squad who he’d very almost received the title with in his rookie yr. The automotive, additionally, bodily didn’t change, with the double-homologated powertrain.

It’s price remembering the place Andretti had been earlier than BMW joined up with them, nonetheless – scrapping to not come final. With the marque formally leaving FE, it left Andretti with a considerable technical hole to attempt to make up, which instantly impacted efficiency, regardless of a podium for Dennis within the opening spherical in Diriyah.

From what the crew disclosed through the season, it appears they began with a automotive that was fast in qualifying however slid helplessly backwards within the race attributable to their vitality administration being a catastrophe. Mid-season that switched to being a automotive that was barely higher in racing, with Dennis placing in a formidable overtaking efficiency in Rome after a poor qualifying. That lastly appeared to steadiness out to one thing far more predictable by the point the ultimate London and Seoul rounds took place.

Still one of many much less skilled drivers in Formula E, Dennis putting sixth within the championship is a real achievement. His double pole place at dwelling in London, taking one win and one other podium, in addition to a ultimate third-place end in Seoul, had been essential to him beating Frijns on countback, the 2 drawing on factors. Dennis’ potential to recuperate from setbacks and carve by the sector when he wanted to was a further credit score to his season.

4 – Jean-Eric Vergne – Techeetah

Vergne scored far more factors than his crew mate

Vergne would little question be as irritated together with his place on this countdown as his outcomes typically this yr – however that’s as a result of Formula E’s solely two-time champion is pissed off by something however profitable. For his final yr on the Techeetah crew he helped discovered, Vergne was on the again foot by way of tempo in comparison with the Jaguar or Mercedes-powered groups – however in a position to submit a lot, a lot better outcomes than the earlier seasons.

Using the identical powertrain final yr, Vergne posted his worst ever Formula E championship end of tenth. This yr won’t have yielded a win for him nevertheless it did reverse these fortunes and see him declare each constant podium finishes and fourth place on the finish of the season. Especially given Da Costa’s battle to haul outcomes out of the Techeetah, JEV’s ultimate rating is spectacular, beating his crew mate by 47 factors.

An end-of-season hunch in outcomes took him out of Evans and Vandoorne’s title battle however till the New York and London rounds he had remained one of many contenders, main the factors within the mid-stages. For somebody driving a solidly midfield automotive, at finest, it was a transparent demonstration of the resilience Vergne has present in Formula E, to have the ability to come again after struggling. His stand-out performances embrace a second place in Berlin that noticed him genuinely problem Mortara, in a a lot quicker automotive, for the win. Pole positions in Rome and Jakarta present that he’s additionally not misplaced the single-lap tempo he’d at all times been capable of finding within the sequence, from taking pole on his debut eight years in the past.

3 – Edoardo Mortara – Venturi

Mortara had one other robust season with 4 wins

For all that Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries had been those to assert the titles for Mercedes up to now two years, it’s Edoardo Mortara who has been arguably the strongest driver utilizing the Mercedes powertrain in that point. Driving for Venturi, relatively than the manufacturing facility crew, Mortara might need not felt like as a lot of a title contender as Vandoorne or De Vries however realistically, he might have taken both and possibly ought to have been champion final yr, bar Mitch Evans’ disastrous failure to begin the ultimate race that noticed each of them worn out of competition on the grid.

Mortara equalled Evans for wins this yr, taking 4 and rising strongly as Venturi’s lead driver, regardless of the intimidating opposition of Lucas di Grassi becoming a member of the opposite facet of the storage.

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2 – Stoffel Vandoorne – Mercedes

Vandoorne grew to become Mercedes’ second consecutive champion

Formula E’s second official world champion might be its much less controversial one. Although De Vries was one among many drivers who might have deserved to win the earlier yr’s title, Vandoorne’s marketing campaign for Mercedes was extra stable, because of the brand new qualifying format nearly ending FE’s tendency to swing giant factors balances between groups.

Vandoorne wasn’t actually deserving of any extra humbling by the point he arrived in FE however nonetheless needed to do a yr in a largely uncompetitive HWA-branded automotive earlier than he was allowed to place the three-pointed star on and actually get going. Mercedes’ first race winner, he obtained foxed out of the 2021 title by reliability or extra particularly, collision injury that was not often something to do together with his driving.

So getting a yr with a comparatively clear run (Vandoorne is the one driver within the prime six of the standings with no retirement) let him take the battle to an in any other case nearly-untouchable Mitch Evans. Mercedes most likely had the marginally higher automotive than Jaguar on numerous weekends, however that shouldn’t take away from Vandoorne’s competitiveness. He solely took one win, in Monaco, the place Evans pushed him to defend to the end line however consistency stays the right way to take a Formula E title and 4 second locations and two thirds noticed Vandoorne prime the factors.

1 – Mitch Evans – Jaguar

Evans loved his finest season within the sequence

It was very troublesome to separate the primary and second positions for this listing, because it was on monitor. In the top, unhealthy luck most likely determined it between Mitch Evans and Stoffel Vandoorne and the timing of Evans’ disastrous, ultimate lap retirement in London particularly. Which isn’t to say Vandoorne isn’t a worthy winner, he clearly is – simply that it might extraordinarily pretty have gone to both of them, as the highest spot on this listing.

Evans’ title frustrations, though not as slow-burn as crew mate Sam Bird’s, are apparent. Every yr the Jaguar will get a bit of extra aggressive. Every yr the crew appears extra nailed-on for fulfillment after which, as is the way in which in Formula E, small issues unravel that see it slide by their fingers but once more. It appears unlikely (and unfair) that anybody not watching Formula E frequently would assume Jaguar was one of the profitable and aggressive groups, battering the VW marques which have come and gone and solely actually discovering a battle with Mercedes.

But that’s how it’s. And Evans drove a title-worthy season. Particularly stand-out moments are profitable each races in Rome and a livid effort to win the primary Seoul race and maintain the title battle with Vandoorne alive to the top. The two are friends, in age phrases, and seeing them get the prospect to instantly compete is likely one of the nice issues about Formula E, the sharp-end battle one of the satisfying issues about this yr. Evans’ performances alone had been wonderful; in praise to the competitiveness of Vandoorne, they’re a elegant – and unusually pleasant – rivalry.

And the remainder

Lewis Hamilton dropping his report of profitable no less than one race per season of F1 he’s competed in was a much bigger story however former Mercedes sim driver Sam Bird additionally misplaced his excellent report in Formula E. Bird didn’t lack aggressive tempo notably this season however ghastly luck noticed him end the bottom he ever has in a Formula E championship and his season ended on the bench, after breaking his hand through the second London race. However, managing to drive an exhausting, 22-turn monitor that noticed drivers relentlessly wrestle the wheel, with the break sustained in a first-lap collision to take dwelling a ultimate factors end, relatively than settle for a retirement, proves Bird’s persevering with mettle.

Alexander Sims determined partway by the season was his ultimate yr in Formula E, nonetheless devoted to the reason for electrical autos however struggling to grasp the ups-and-downs of the sequence. A largely uncompetitive Mahindra left him with out a lot of an opportunity to exit on a excessive. However, a stint on the entrance within the second New York spherical, following a really robust qualifying there, confirmed how briskly Sims is, given an opportunity.

IndyCar switch Oliver Askew had a promising begin, the one rookie to complete within the factors in Diriyah, adopted by an extremely irritating mid-season. He returned to type on the London Eprix, taking a fourth place end, simply moments too late to have any hope of saving his seat. The Andretti automotive, struggling with out BMW’s trackside assist, was troublesome for even Dennis to become familiar with and Askew’s promise in FE was sadly disguised too lengthy.

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