Ex-Toro Rosso Formula One driver Jean-Eric Vergne will race in this weekend’s third round of the Formula E World Championship at the Punta del Este street circuit in Uruguay. The second seat in the team has been occupied by a different driver at every round of the season so far. Charles Pic drove for the team in China, with Matthew Brabham taking the seat last time out in Malaysia.
“It’s not often that you get to race at this time of the year,” Vergne said. “I am really looking forward to this opportunity, especially given its location in a place like Punta del Este. Although I have no experience in this new series, I am excited about the prospect of racing in Formula E, and racing for such a prestigious team as Andretti.
“As always, the main objective of the weekend is to stay out front and finish the year on a high note. The weekend will be a little like a journey into the unknown, but it is a journey that I am thoroughly looking forward to.”
“We’re really happy to put JEV (Jean-Éric Vergne) in the car for Punta del Este,” said Michael Andretti, team principal, “He has great talent and we think he’ll pair well with our team for competitive results. I also think having interest and participation from respected F1 drivers shows great strength and the true potential for Formula E as a series and World Championship.”
Vergne raced for Toro Rosso this year, but confirmed last month via Twitter that he would not be driving for the team next year alongside Max Verstappen. He finished 13th in the drivers’ championship this year with 22 points compared to team-mate Kvyat’s 8. The Frenchman had a best finish of 6th place in the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix. Vergne has been linked to the third driver position at Williams Martini Racing as opposed to securing a race seat for next season. Formula E may be an alternative choice for a permanent seat.
Former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi currently leads the Formula E standings after finishing in the top 2 in the first 2 races of the season. Briton Sam Bird lies 2nd ahead of Franck Montagny, Nicolas Prost, Karun Chandhok and Jerome D’Ambrosio, who are all tied for 3rd. Vergne will be the 11th ex-Formula One driver on the grid out of 20 total drivers.