Formula 2 Championship contender Alexander Albon will not – just yet – graduate to Formula 1 and will instead join the Formula E Championship in the Nissan e.dams outfit as teammate to Sébastien Buemi for the 2018-19 season.
The Anglo-Thai driver is currently third in the F2 Drivers’ Championship standings, racing for the DAMS team which also operates the Nissan factory-backed Formula E effort.
“The level of competition in the series is intense, and I’m looking forward to testing myself against some of the best drivers in the world,” Albon said.
“Electric street racing will be a new challenge for me, but working with Sébastien as my teammate will be a huge help, as he has set the benchmark for performance in the series.”
With Renault having backed the e.dams operation over the first four seasons of the all-electrical championship, sister brand Nissan now steps in from the 2018-19 season onwards after buying out the shareholding of Alain Prost.
The four-time F1 World Champion’s son Nicolas was dispensed from the team’s driving line-up at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, following an uncompetitive season from the second-generation French racer.
Albon’s movement to the Formula E Championship is a pay-off for DAMS agreeing to fully fund his 2018 Formula 2 season after his sponsorship fell through just before the season began. The team’s decision has proven wise, with the 22-year-old proving to be one of the revelations of the season.
Albon was formerly a Red Bull-backed driver and – given his impressive form in F2 and the strong rumours that Scuderia Toro Rosso is on the verge of re-signing former driver Daniil Kvyat – his Formula E Championship stint may prove quite brief if Helmut Marko comes knocking on the DAMS team’s doors with his chequebook in hand.
|2018-19 FIA Formula E Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
||Sébastien Buemi||Alexander Albon
|Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
||Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|Envision Virgin Racing||Sam Bird||TBA|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||André Lotterer|
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
||Mitch Evans||Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|NIO Formula E Team
|Venturi Formula E Team
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
||António Félix da Costa||Alexander Sims|
Images via FIa Formula 2 Championship and Nissan e.dams