Driver Changes Highlight 10th Season Opener

Jackson Wheeler
8 Min Read

  • Global all-electric series celebrates 10th birthday with legacy of rapid technology growth.
  • Reigning champion Jake Dennis, of Andretti Global, looking to repeat Mexico City victory.
  • Jaguar team stronger with Nick Cassidy, Mitch Evans teaming up this year.

Mexico City this weekend welcomes the global all-electric ABB FIA Formula E series for the kickoff of its 16-race 2024 series.

And Andretti Global’s Jake Dennis, who bookended his championship 2023 season with victories at historic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and before his hometown crowd at London in the finale, returns with hopes of leading the 11-team, 22-car grid once again in the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix.

Eight of 11 teams, including Andretti Global, made driver changes in the offseason—in moves that also paired Dennis’ two closest rivals, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans, for a formidable Jaguar TCS partnership.

abb fia formula e world championship valencia pre season test

Handout//Getty Images

Last year’s runner-up in the drivers’ championship nick cassidy helps make powerful jaguar a team championship contender once again in 2024.

But the Gen 3 car that’s in its second year remains a constant in a season with significant changes to the race format (with the mid-season introduction of the mandatory Fast Charge/Attack Charge 30-second pit stop) and the schedule (inaugural event in Tokyo and return to China, at Shanghai, along with a few notable absences: Hyderabad in India, Cape Town, Jakarta, and Rome).

Dennis became comfortable with the Gen 3 car, which he said displays “no big development in terms of visual aspects until the Gen 3.5.” However, he said, “On the software side, that goal is always moving forward, and we’re always pushing the limits. I think we’ve made genuine gains since London.” He soon discovered that everyone else has, too—especially his nemeses now at Jaguar.

“The likes of Jaguar were extremely fast in Valencia. They definitely had more pace than us, and they sort of had that edge on us in the last two or three rounds, as well, of the championship. So hopefully we can close that gap a little bit in Mexico,” Dennis said. “Porsche generally always goes really well there, so excited to hopefully continue that performance of over the years they’ve had there and try and start the season off in a really strong position. If I can replicate that, then I’ll be a very happy man.”

Young, Strong and Coming On

Dennis, like his colleagues, has seen Formula E’s rapid evolution as it integrates racing with improved technology.

“If you look at the grand scheme of things, Formula E is extremely young inside of motorsports. Ten years is not long at all, and I’ve only been there for three years now. And to see how much it grown inside of those three years is impressive,” he said. “But to see how much it is grown since Season 1, when the cars were much, much slower they couldn’t even do a full race and they’re having to change cars halfway through, whereas now the cars are extremely fast. We’re doing pit stops halfway through the season. You’re racing on much bigger circuits. It’s all moving in the right direction, and I think it will continue to do that for the foreseeable future.

formula e 2023 rome e prix round 14

Ciancaphoto Studio//Getty Images

Jake Dennis is out to defend his Formula E championship.

“We’re already talking about Gen 4, and the development work’s already starting to be made for that. The FIA obviously already looking to the car design, and Gen 3.5 next year is going to be exciting with potentially four-wheel drive and different aerodynamics. I look forward to seeing the car,” Dennis said. “That’s what the manufacturers take part in Formula E for. It’s great, it’s exciting, and motorsport is entertainment. Ultimately that’s what we’re trying to achieve to the race fans. But I think for the manufacturers inside of Formula E, they’re obviously trying to make their road cars better.

“Every country and every leader inside that country is trying to promote more sustainability and try to do a better job for the environment. The big OEMs and the people on board now, they really need to show that they’re doing their best for sustainability. And if they’re not, then obviously they get a bit of a bad image. So it’s a great place to be inside Formula E,” he said. “Generally, everyone wants the best: everyone wants the best Formula E, everyone wants the best sustainability. And for us to race in these different locations really promotes that.”

Doubling Down in U.S.

The series is doubling down in the U.S., with a twin bill at Portland to close out June. Dennis said the number of passes was tremendous to see. Moreover, it’s a “home race” for the Fishers, Ind.-based Andretti team. “We get double the promotion, double the exposure, and to have Michael there, the boss, will be important,” he said.

But Dennis said Tokyo has generated the most buzz: “There’s not a driver from the grid who isn’t excited for that race. It’s going to be super-cool. Going back to Shanghai will be a very cool moment for Formula E. Pretty gutted that we lost Cape Town. That was a great location, awesome race, and the weather was amazing. We could put the perfect calendar together well if the driver chose it, but I think it’d probably be a bit too expensive. The season 10 calendar is a special one and definitely has some key highlights, as well.”

It all starts this weekend at Mexico City, with Roku as the new American streaming and app partner.

Headshot of Susan Wade

Susan Wade has lived in the Seattle area for 40 years, but motorsports is in the Indianapolis native’s DNA. She has emerged as one of the leading drag-racing writers with nearly 30 seasons at the racetrack, focusing on the human-interest angle.  She was the first non-NASCAR recipient of the prestigious Russ Catlin Award and has covered the sport for the Chicago Tribune, Newark Star-Ledger, and Seattle Times. She has contributed to Autoweek as a freelance writer since 2016.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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