Season seven World Champion Nyck de Vries will return to Formula E in 2024, after being confirmed as a Mahindra Racing driver on a multi-year contract, as has Edoardo Mortara.
The Dutchman’s return to the championship was heavily rumoured after he was seen chatting to several teams at the season nine finale in London, with him having clearly found a new home at Mahindra. De Vries left the Formula E paddock at the end of 2022 to complete his move to AlphaTauri in F1, which significantly backfired when he was dropped after just 10 races.
His return to the all-electric series is very much welcomed, given that he is technically the first Formula E World Champion. De Vries secured the season seven (2020/21) title with Mercedes-EQ, a year which saw him win two races and amass 99 points.
In total, the 28-year-old is a four-time Formula E race winner, with him set to embark on his fourth campaign in the series with Mahindra, who are in desperate need of a better year. De Vries will likely feature at the back in the opening rounds, given that the Indian manufacturer were a backmarker side in season nine.
However, Mahindra are very much focused on the future and completing a long journey of recovery, something De Vries is clearly onboard with based on the fact that he’s signed a multi-year contract.
He’s “excited” about the team’s future and is thrilled to be a part of it, with the side’s long-term project being something which De Vries finds “very appealing”.
“It’s really exciting to be joining such a major automotive manufacturer as Mahindra, and to represent them in Formula E,” De Vries said.
“I’m particularly excited about the future plans for the team. The basis is already strong, and the team has all the attributes to succeed. I believe going forwards we will be able to extract even more potential from the project and the organisation, so to be a part of that process was very appealing for me.
“I think it’s no secret that the team has had a bit of a rough start to Gen3, although there were positive signs of improvement during the second half of last season. I believe the team can continue to build on those learnings, and with the additional changes and plans in place for the future, we can make even greater steps forward in performance at the start of our new journey together.
“Coming back to Formula E will feel like coming home. I’ve been part of the Formula E family for three seasons, I know everybody very well. I’m looking forward to being back in a familiar environment, and to be back somewhere where ultimately, I’ve always enjoyed my racing.”
Mortara: ‘We share the same values’
Mortara’s switch from Maserati MSG Racing to Mahindra is one which was recently rumoured, with it now proving to have been an accurate report. The Swiss driver is in many ways replacing Lucas di Grassi, who was very much Mahindra’s experienced head in season nine.
With six seasons in Formula E under his belt, Mortara is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, meaning that Di Grassi’s departure won’t impact the side too much when it comes to understanding how to extract the most from a package.
More importantly than that, the Swiss driver is no stranger to a project, with him having taken Venturi from the back of the grid to the front of it across his six seasons with the team. Whilst Venturi’s transition into Maserati for 2023 didn’t work to Mortara’s strengths, he’s still massively responsible for so much of what the Monte-Carlo-based team have achieved.
Having someone who’s been on a long journey with a team before will work massively in Mahindra’s favour, especially as the 36-year-old believes that himself and the team “share the same values”.
Interestingly, Mortara has also moved to Mahindra on a multi-year deal, showing that he’s very much prepared to help the team through their current journey of recovery.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Mahindra Racing. It’s a team that I’ve been looking at for several years now, they have been in Formula E since the beginning of the Championship, so there’s a lot of experience there,” Mortara assessed.
“What I could also feel from the people here is that we share the same values. We have a great project in front of us, but I can see a lot of determination and motivation from everyone in the team, and this is so important.
“Mahindra is also such a big automotive manufacturer, with a worldwide reputation. I’m extremely proud to join and be a representative of this prestigious group. I can’t wait to get started, and I’m sure that, if we put in the necessary amount of work, we will be able to be successful in this very competitive championship in the future.”
Bertrand: New driver line-up making entire team ‘very motivated’
Team Principal and Mahindra CEO Frederic Bertrand is “delighted” with the Indian manufacturer’s completely new driver line-up for Formula E’s centurion campaign, with it in many ways being one of the strongest pairings on the 2024 grid.
Change was clearly needed at Mahindra, given that Oliver Rowland and Di Grassi both left the team due to not sharing the same goals as the Banbury-based squad. In De Vries and Mortara, Mahindra have two talented Formula E race winners who can help the outfit rebuild, something both drivers are looking forward to.
Bertrand admitted that De Vries’ and Mortara’s eagerness to be part of a “long-term project” was a huge selling point, with that journey having the end goal of getting Mahindra “back to the front”.
“I am delighted to welcome Edo and Nyck to the Mahindra Racing family. As a team, we are all embarking on a journey to bring Mahindra Racing back to the front of the grid in the coming years,” said Bertrand.
“With their speed and experience, Nyck and Edo will play a key role in driving the team towards that goal, and I know everybody is feeling very motivated to work with them. Equally important for the team are the drivers’ appetites for a long-term project, which makes them the perfect fit for Mahindra Racing at the beginning of this journey.
“We anticipate next year will be another year of development and progress, and in a championship like Formula E, success is impossible to achieve overnight. But the signing of Nyck and Edo, along with new recruits within the wider team, puts down a solid foundation on which we can build.”