In Drayson's place, former grand prix driver Jarno Trulli is launching his own team called TrulliGP. In a modern, electric-powered revival of the spirits of the late Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren, Jarno himself will drive for his own team, joining the roster of fellow former F1 drivers that have flocked to the series.
Jarno Trulli, for those unfamiliar, is one of only 105 drivers to have won a Formula One Grand Prix – his victory having come in 2004 at no less prestigious an event than the Monaco Grand Prix. He scored another ten podiums over the course of his fifteen years on the F1 grid, driving for such teams as Jordan, Renault and Toyota before retiring at the end of the 2011 season after competing in over 250 grands prix.
For its part, Drayson will continue on as the team's technological partner, which may not be so relevant for the first season, considering that all the cars – Spark-Renault SRT_01E EVs – will be centrally supplied. But we can't help but wonder if Drayson will continue with its plan to build its own electric single-seat racing car to compete in the series next season.
- Monaco GP race winner launches self-run outfit after taking over Drayson Racing team slot
- Drayson Technologies to become team's technology partner
- Italian to drive full-time in FIA Formula E Championship
LONDON, UK (June 18 2014): Formula One race winner Jarno Trulli today announced he is to form and manage a new team for the FIA Formula E Championship – entitled TrulliGP Formula E Team – with which he will race in the unique all-electric series. The 39-year-old Italian has taken over the entry of Drayson Racing.
Following approval from the FIA, TrulliGP has been granted the 10th team entry for the Formula E Championship, following the withdrawal of Drayson Racing. Drayson Technologies will be entering into a supply and sponsorship arrangement with TrulliGP to be the squad's principal technology partner. As part of this, TrulliGP will begin work on Drayson's wireless charging technology – which offers the potential to free electric vehicles from the constraints of cable-based charging.
Jarno Trulli said: "I am pleased that the FIA selected TrulliGP to be part of the FIA Formula E Championship. Having gained fantastic experience as a driver in Formula 1, my involvement in the FIA Formula E Championship will certainly be a new challenge, not only as a driver but also as a team owner. Competing at the highest level of performance with a clean energy car with the support of Drayson Technologies makes this challenge even more exciting. I am very pleased to be a pioneer of this new Formula E project."
Trulli becomes the eighth driver to sign for Formula E alongside Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi at Audi Sport Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari at Virgin Racing, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok at Mahindra Racing and Franck Montagny at Andretti Autosport.
Lord Drayson, CEO of Drayson Technologies, said: "I am delighted to be working with such a world-class team of motorsport professionals, led by Jarno. I am sure that the combination of the Trulli team's motorsport knowhow and the Drayson EV technology expertise will be a winning one from the start. Our ambition is to supply all the teams with wireless charging and we are delighted that TrulliGP is the first team to adopt this exciting technology."
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag added: "We're delighted to welcome Jarno to the FIA Formula E Championship as both a team manager and a driver. Drayson very much remains a part of the Formula E family focusing on developing their wireless charging technology which they couldn't have done running as a team. This ground-breaking technology has the potential to benefit not just the TrulliGP team but the entire championship and of course the future of electric road cars."