José María López will remain with the Dragon Formula E team for the 2018-19 championship season.
The upcoming season will be the Argentine driver’s third in the series and his second with the American team. After winning three successive FIA World Touring Car Championship titles with Citröen, López’s connections with the French brand helped him secure a seat with DS Virgin Racing in his return to open-wheel racing.
He finished ninth in his rookie campaign, claiming two podium finishes at the Paris and Montréal ePrix rounds, but was forced to miss the penultimate round in New York due to pre-existing commitments with Toyota’s LMP1 campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Initially out of a drive for the 2017-18 season when it started with the Hong Kong ePrix, he was signed to Dragon Racing as the replacement for Neel Jani who parted ways with the American team after an unconvincing debut. He had a more challenging time with the car’s Penske-developed powertrain and finished 17th in the championship standings.
In explaining the re-signing of López, Dragon Racing team principal Jay Penske praised his driver’s potential.
“He is a real racer and I am confident that his capabilities, paired with the evolution of our engineering organisation will prove to be a winning formula this season,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing the results.”
“I am really excited to continue with the team and I am looking forward to being on the track to achieve our objectives,” López added.
“The team has evolved so much since I joined last year, and now we have the new Gen2 car, so we are starting fresh, and I can’t wait to be on track with the team for the first race in Riyadh.
“[My] expectations are to be competitive from the start to achieve top spot results. The team has put in an incredible effort during this, and I am looking forward to working with them to keep improving and evolving throughout the season.”
The team is yet to announce the identity of López’s teammate. Test and reserve driver Maximilian Günther, who currently races for BWT Arden in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, is considered a contender after piloting the Penske EV-3 Gen2 package during the team’s private testing programme.
|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||Robin Frijns|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||André Lotterer|
|Dragon Racing||José María López||TBA|
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
||Mitch Evans||Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|NIO Formula E Team
||Tom Dillmann||Oliver Turvey|
|Venturi Formula E Team
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
||António Félix da Costa||Alexander Sims|
||Gary Paffett||Stoffel Vandoorne|
Image via FIA Formula E Championship