Changing Gears: 5 Drivers Who Should Move From F1 To Formula E

Joel Harvey

Change is scary. Sometimes you’d rather whittle down the days in your dead-end job, than changing things up.

It’s comfortable and familiar doing what you know, so why risk things by doing something different?

But they say the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results. And for some current F1 drivers, they must be positively certifiable now. Because for these guys, staying in F1 should no longer be an option; they need a fresh start in Motorsports. Thankfully for them, there’s no place more fresher at the moment than Formula E.

FE is a competition that – after three seasons – is building a reputation for bringing new excitement to circuit racing. It’s also a home to offering second chances for drivers who didn’t quite make the grade in F1 – Nelson Piquet Jr., Lucas di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi for example. All three left mid-to-low teams in F1, and each became a world champion in FE.

It’s time for others to follow their lead.

Nico Hülkenberg

If Hülkenberg isn’t experiencing the seven-year itch in F1, then we’d be surprised. For seven seasons now, the talented German racer has been the perennial middle-of-the-pack driver of the championship. If he doesn’t finish 9th or 10th in the final standings, it’ll be a shock to the system; he is Mr. Average F1.

But there is so much promise for this guy. At only 30-years-old, he still has the potential to win things. And one thing’s for sure, he won’t be winning things racing for Renault in F1. Maybe a switch to Renault in FE could be the spark he needs to become a true winner.

Fernando Alonso

The last three seasons for Alonso have been painful. You can see the hurt in his Spanish eyes; he’s sick of racing in an inferior car. For a world champion driver, to be reduced to scraps on the F1 grid has clearly been a humbling and humiliating experience. Maybe next year will be different. Maybe McLaren will finally be competitive – but then again, maybe they won’t.

The time has come then for Alonso to move on from former glories, and create new ones elsewhere. A spell in FE could be the crowning sunset that his career deserves. And it could be his best opportunity to become a racing champion for one last time.

Jolyon Palmer

Technically, Palmer is no longer an F1 driver at the moment. His seat was unceremoniously ripped from under him by Renault in October this year. With every closed door though, there is another door opened. And for Palmer, that hum of the electric motors must be calling him through a freshly opened doorway.

Success in the GP2 series did seem to set Palmer up for rewards in F1, but it didn’t come to pass. The Brit’s two years racing for Renault have been forgettable. But at 26-years-old, he’s still young and with no drive in F1 next year, he should think about moving on. His career could do with a boost and FE could be the place to provide it.

Daniil Kvyat

It feels like Kvyat has been racing in F1 for at least 10 years. But this 23-year-old has only been around for four seasons. They’ve been memorable for the Russian, and not for the right reasons either. His reputation has sadly taken a hit over this time, especially when he found himself demoted from his dream Red Bull drive in 2016.

Perhaps what would be best for Kvyat is to take a sabbatical from F1 – a gap year or two. The sunnier climes of FE could do him the world of good.

Romain Grosjean

The hugely experienced, and much traveled, Frenchman has been a part of F1 furniture for eight years now. He’s even had some success in the sport, securing eight podium places in his time. But his last two years with Haas have been less than successful. Despite some middling performances, Grosjean has somewhat lost his charm on the F1 grid.

With his racing knowledge, we think he’d be the perfect fit for a Formula E spot. It’s not too late for RoGro to get his mojo back in motor racing.

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