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Nissan Considering Japanese Drivers for Second Seat

Nissan is set to sign a Japanese driver for its second Formula E seat…

Photo: Nissan NISMO

Nissan looks likely to place one of its Japanese factory drivers alongside Sebastien Buemi in its ABB FIA Formula E Championship team.

E-racing365 understands that Daiki Sasaki and Mitsunori Takaboshi are amongst the drivers in contention for the race seat as Nissan takes over the e.dams team from Renault ahead of Season Five.

The Paris-based outfit is set to officially reveal its lineup next month but private testing of its new driver could commence in the coming weeks.

E.dams owner Jean-Paul Driot is set to stay in control of the program alongside Nissan Global Motorsport Director Michael Carcamo, while technical chief Vincent Gaillardot also remains at the team.

Sasaki is racing this season in Super GT along with Jann Mardenborough, who has also been evaluated for a Formula E drive.

While focusing his career on the GT500 class in recent years, Sasaki does have single-seater experience from multiple seasons in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship.

Takaboshi, meanwhile, is reigning Japanese F3 champion and has already undertaken a day of testing in Formula E at the Marrakesh rookie test in January.

Should Nissan elect a Japanese driver to partner Buemi, effectively replacing Nico Prost in the team, he would become the fourth driver from the nation to race in the all-electric championship.

Takuma Sato, Sakon Yamamoto and Kamui Kobayashi all made one-off appearances during the first four seasons of the series.

Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto both made one-off appearances with Amlin Aguri in Season One while Kamui Kobayashi competed at the Hong Kong E-Prix with Andretti last season.

The addition of a Japanese driver would have obvious marketing benefits for Nissan as it enters the series, along with its growing range of electric road vehicles which includes the Leaf.

Formula E is also keen to have stronger Japanese representation as it closes in on a round in Yokohama for 2020.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. krisg

    August 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    With Nissan officially joining FE, want to know how long will take for the others big Japanese OEMS, Toyota and Honda, to have a presence in the championship. Both Toyota and Honda did the mistake to invest in Fuel Cell, a technology that doesn’t have a future powering cars because it isn’t more ecological than fossil fuels – today the cheapest way to generate Hydrogen is reforming Petrol, doesn’t offer better range (the Tesla Model 3 has the same range as the Toyota Mirai), the cost are from other world (10x more expensive to produce the cars), the necessary infra-structure non-existent (and no one wants to invest, neither oil companies, car manufactures or governments) and no benefits in performance. Toyota already announced in the beginning of this year that they will be switch their strategy to battery EVs and Honda is nowhere as far as I know.

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