Jaguar have made a big statement of intent by signing Formula E’s first ever champion Nelson Piquet Jr.
The Indian-owned, British based manufacturer has pulled out all the stops ahead of their second season in the electric car championship – unveiling Piquet Jr alongside their new I-TYPE 2 car.
Jaguar finished rock bottom last term in their debut season but will be expecting a huge improvement after bringing in Piquet Jr to team up with Mitch Evans, who looked good in his rookie campaign.
Despite winning the Formula E title by one point in the series’ first season, Piquet Jr has struggled over the last two years and left the NextEv NIO team after finishing 11th in the driver standings.
The 2016/17 season started promisingly for the 30-year-old as he claimed his first pole in the opening race at Hong Kong. But the car’s poor design made things difficult and he failed to finish on the podium all season making his partnership with NextEv NIO untenable.
Piquet Jr, son of three-time Formula 1 World champion Nelson Piquet, has replaced Adam Carroll in Jaguar’s line-up and the team have already put a lot of faith in their new addition.
The ex-Renault F1 driver will be reunited with his GP2 race engineer Paul Davison, who is currently performance engineer at Williams.
— Jaguar Racing (@JaguarRacing) September 21, 2017
Phil Charles, who served as Piquet Jr’s race engineer at Renault, has been named Jaguar’s race technical manager as the team look to make their new driver as comfortable as possible.
“Jaguar has such a strong history in motorsport and it’s an exciting time to become part of the team.
Their commitment to electric Motorsport is inspiring and I’m looking forward to working with the team.
I’m in an environment where we have a very good chance of moving forward because of all the people we have together with us.”
– Nelson Piquet Jr
With these new additions, it’s clear to see that Jaguar are serious about Formula E. But will their moves translate to better results on track? We’ll have to wait until the opening weekend at Hong Kong in December to find out.