After failing to compete in the first two rounds of the 2015/16 Formula E Championship, the Trulli Formula E Team has today confirmed its immediate withdrawal from the series.
Trulli GP took over the entries of Drayson Racing in the lead up to the inaugural season but struggled to make an impact. Team owner Jarno Trulli – the former Formula 1 veteran and one-time winner of the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix – competed in all 11 races and scored the team’s best result of fourth place in the 2014 Uruguayan race, along with pole position in Berlin.
The only other point-scoring finish for the team came with ninth place for Vitantonio Luizzi at that same Berlin race. The second car was initially piloted by Michaela Cerruti, before Liuzzi and eventually Alex Fontana took over the drive.
Having been one of the eight accredited manufacturers for season two, the team has consistently struggled with both supply and technical dramas with their Motomatica JT-01s, failing to complete a single lap in pre-season testing, nor pass scrutineering at the Beijing and Putrajaya races. With these issues still unresolved the team has relinquished its entries to Formula E series organisers.
CEO of Trulli GP, Francesco Test, made the announcement, saying the team continues to support the series even though it has been forced to withdraw.
“After failing scrutineering in the Beijing and Putrajaya ePrix and in light of our commercial agreement with Formula E Holdings, we are forced to announce the retirement of Trulli Formula E from the FIA Formula E Championship. As major supporters of this all electric series, we are pleased to leave space for a new OEM to enter the series and further help develop the series and electric racing technology.”
Speaking in response to Trulli’s departure Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag expressed his disappointment, but maintained the championship remains strong moving forward.
“We are disappointed that Trulli has decided to leave the championship,” he said.
“Having a driver of the status of Jarno Trulli involved in the early days certainly helped to boost the credibility of Formula E. Taking the decision to become a full manufacturer was a bold one, and one that was always going to present challenges due to the technical advances that Formula E is pioneering. While we are very sad to see Trulli leave, this does create an opportunity for a new team and manufacturer to enter and we are very confident about the future strength of the series.”
The withdrawal of Trulli GP means only 18 cars will again be on the grid in Uruguay this Saturday for the Punta del Este ePrix and most likely for the remainder of the season.
Image via Luis Betancourt