Alexander Albon will join Sebastien Buemi at Nissan as the automotive giant embarks upon its first season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Nissan will become the first Japanese manufacturer to enter Formula E this December as it takes over sister brand Renault’s slot in the e.dams-run operation.
Albon, who tested with the team in Spain earlier this month for two days, joins the team after campaigning with the DAMS squad in Formula 2 this season.
The 22 year-old, who tested for Renault e.dams in Marrakesh in January, is currently placed third in the F2 standings after taking wins at Baku, Hungaroring and Silverstone.
“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 Sebastien as my teammate will be a huge help, as he has set the benchmark for performance in the series.”
E-racing 365 revealed in June that Albon was one of those being considered for a drive after being evaluated along with Andrea Pizzitola and Jann Mardenborough.
Nissan is entering Formula E after a group shake-up in its motorsport programs last year which sees Renault focus on its maturing Formula 1 program.
Formula E will be Nissan’s first major global motorsport program since its short-lived LMP1 campaign in 2015.
Nissan says it “will draw on its proven experience as the all-time world leader in electric cars – having sold more than 350,000 Nissan Leaf vehicles since introducing the model in 2010.”
“Sebastien’s impressive record in the Formula E championship speaks for itself, and pairing him with a young star like Alex is a great combination,” said Michael Carcamo, Nissan’s global motorsports director.
“We can’t think of a better team to showcase our innovative technologies and our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision.”
Buemi Contract Intricacies Resolved
Sebastien Buemi stays with e.dams for a fifth season as the Le Mans-based team continues to be the operational arm of the Nissan entry.
Nissan acquired a non-majority stake in the e.dams business earlier this month and was in detailed discussions with Buemi about his contractual situations.
These were resolved in the summer and the Swiss driver is now set to see out his contract through to the summer of 2019 when he will become a free agent.
Buemi has a one-year commitment left on his deal with the entry after re-signing at the 2017 Berlin E-Prix.
The Season Two champion’s position with the squad was known to have been fraught at stages as the metamorphosis from Renault to Nissan took place over the last 12 months.
E-racing365 understands that this centered around some aspects and details of his FIA World Endurance Championship deal with Toyota Gazoo Racing and the marketing intricacies of representing two opposing Japanese manufacturers.
“Season Five will be a whole new beginning for me in many ways,” Buemi said upon being confirmed with the team. “There’s so much that’s new – the cars, the race format, the venues.
“I look forward to continuing to work with e.dams and bringing the excitement of Nissan’s world-leading electric vehicle technology to motorsports fans all over the globe.”
Team principal Jean-Paul Driot said: “Sebastien has been an important part of the e.dams team since our first Formula E race four years ago in China.
“We know Alex well from his performances with DAMS in Formula 2, and we’re excited to bring his talent into the Formula E championship.”