We will have a new team in Formula E next season in the form of British car giant Jaguar. Their return to motor racing is highly anticipated amongst the fans, but who will get the two seats?
As mentioned earlier, rumours circulated that Sam Bird was talking to the team, but the Englishman put these rumours to bed as he confirmed one more year on his contract with DS Virgin Racing. The same goes for Nelson Piquet Jr, with the reigning champion also being named as a candidate despite having a year left with NEXTEV TCR.
Also from Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa is on the list of possibles for Jaguar, but because of previously stated reason, I doubt this will happen.
Nationality correlation seems to be a popular idea in motor racing, with British drivers Anthony Davidson and Alex Lynn both rumoured to be in line for a seat. Davidson could be considered as a more serious prospect as his duties in the World Endurance Championship would not clash with the Formula E calendar, as is the case for other drivers in the series such as Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi and Loic Duval.
As for Lynn, the Essex racer is currently looking towards Formula 1 with the Williams team, where he is the reserve. It is very clear that F1 is the goal for Lynn, and I believe that if he is promoted to a race seat, it will be to replace my next candidate.
Felipe Massa, an 11-time winner in F1, has made no secret of the fact he may look elsewhere for next season and Formula E is on his list. Williams are partnered with the new Jaguar Formula E team, and to me this makes enough sense for Massa to be considered for the team. However, starting S3 would mean cutting short his current term in Formula 1 due to the irregular calendar pattern, so we should give it another season before Massa joining Formula E becomes a genuine possibility.
Also from F1, Pastor Maldonado is now a free agent after being ousted by Renault and could be a valuable asset with his substantial backing, as well as having a solid resume with a GP2 title and F1 victory on his record. He has made no secret of the fact he is looking at Formula E and I believe this is more likely than people may realise.
I have two more candidates on my lengthy list for Jaguar, and both are Indian. Given that Tata Communications own Jaguar Land Rover, the Indian company may look towards a home driver. Narain Kathikeyan has been named as an option, while Karun Chandhok should also be considered given his prior experience in the series.
Overall this is a difficult one to predict, as there are pros and cons to each of the drivers. I feel as though Davidson is the most likely option given the non-conflicts with WEC, while his team mate isn’t so clear cut. Having considered the options, the most reasonable bet could well be Maldonado as he won’t be tied down to other commitments, as well as being a proven winner in the top echelon.
Candidates: Antonio Felix da Costa, Anthony Davidson, Alex Lynn, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Narain Kathikeyan, Karun Chandhok
I predict: Anthony Davidson / Pastor Maldonado