until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

F1 tester closes on Andretti FE seat as doors close to De Vries

by Sam Smith
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Felipe Drugovich has emerged as the surprise favourite to join world champion Jake Dennis in the Avalanche Andretti team for the 2024 Formula E season.

That prospect and moves elsewhere in the field make it look increasingly unlikely that recent Formula 1 exile and 2021 Formula E champion Nyck de Vries will get back into the FE field for 2024 despite it initially seeming like his best option for a seat after his AlphaTauri exit.

Aston Martin Formula 1 test and reserve driver and reigning F2 champion Drugovich is in negotiations with Andretti for the seat which will be vacated by Andre Lotterer, who will concentrate on his endurance racing commitments next year after six seasons in Formula E.

Formula E Rome Eprix 2023

Drugovich has tested twice for the Maserati MSG squad in recent months and made his ambition to race in Formula E clear to The Race in Rome last month, saying that he could “obviously do two programmes in parallel, that would be perfect for me”.

The two programmes he has in mind would be racing in FE while continuing to be available as an F1 reserve.

“Formula E is a great championship and I would, for sure, enjoy to do it as well,” Drugovich told The Race.

“Obviously it depends from the other side, but from my side I would enjoy being here.”

The 23-year-old Brazilian, who has held detailed recent talks with Andretti, has some flexibility in his deal with Aston Martin for a race programme elsewhere but is expected to be kept on the books there for 2024 too. Drugovich conducted pre-season testing with Aston Martin this year as he was lined up to contest the F1 season-opener if Lance Stroll hadn’t recovered sufficiently from his cycling accident.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Day One Sakhir, Bahrain

Maserati MSG is tipped to now field an unchanged line-up for next season with Maximilian Guenther expected to soon sign a new deal to stay alongside the already contracted Edoardo Mortara.

Avalanche Andretti is known to have looked at several drivers recently, including Robin Frijns and Norman Nato. The former is now returning to Envision after parting with Abt, while outgoing Nissan driver Nato and his manager Tiago Monteiro held talks with Andretti at the Rome E-Prix.

The possibility of De Vries, who was on site at the London E-Prix last weekend talking to teams, returning to the championship he won for Mercedes two years ago now appears to be decreasing with only an outside possibility of a seat at Nissan or Andretti still available.

While Drugovich is closing on Andretti, Oliver Rowland is the current favourite to rejoin his old team Nissan and make a return to Formula E after half a season away since leaving Mahindra.

Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths told The Race last month that Lotterer was technically still a possibility to race for the team in 2024 but that seems highly unlikely after a season in which he contributed just 23 of the 252 points accrued by the team.

Spacesuit Media Lou Johnson 403602

Lotterer admitted it had been a difficult campaign.

“When you’re get into that cycle of discouraging moments over and over and over, you lose a bit of confidence and then you are just out of your natural flow,” he told The Race.

“You try to put things together and you think about it too much.

“Practice was always promising. But from mid-season on, I don’t know, it just didn’t work out.

“I started the year OK; I think not too bad. But then it just didn’t come together.

“Then if it wasn’t me, it was something on the car, getting driven into, the brakes, etc, so yeah, not the year I hoped for, definitely.”

Potential 2024 Formula E driver line-up

Envision Jaguar: Sebastien Buemi, Robin Frijns
Jaguar: Nick Cassidy, Mitch Evans
Avalanche Andretti Porsche: Jake Dennis, Felipe Drugovich
Porsche: Pascal Wehrlein, Antonio Felix da Costa
DS Penske: Jean-Eric Vergne, Stoffel Vandoorne
Maserati MSG: Maximilian Guenther, Edoardo Mortara
Nissan: Sacha Fenestraz, Oliver Rowland
McLaren Nissan: Sam Bird, Jake Hughes
NIO 333: Dan Ticktum, Sergio Sette Camara
Mahindra: Lucas di Grassi, tba (Jehan Daruvala?)
Abt Cupra Mahindra: Nico Mueller, tba (Kelvin van der Linde?)

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