Jose Maria Lopez to remain with Dragon Racing in Formula E for Season 5
Jay Penske's Dragon Racing has confirmed that three-time World Touring Car champion and current Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Jose Maria Lopez will remain with the team for a second consecutive season.
Lopez, 35, joined the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at the start of Season Three, driving alongside Sam Bird at DS Virgin Racing before being dropped at the end of the season for Alex Lynn.
Without a drive for the start of Season Four, Lopez joined Dragon at the third round of the season in Marrakesh, replacing Neel Jani who left the American marque after contesting only two rounds of the 2017/18 season.
Racing in 10 of Formula E's 12-round Season Four calendar, Lopez finished in 17th in the Drivers' Championship with a total tally of 14 points, securing a best finish of sixth place at his comeback race while also scoring points in Punta del Este and Paris.
"I am really excited to continue with the team and I am looking forward to being on the track to achieve our objectives,” said Lopez.
“The atmosphere is great! The team has evolved so much since I joined last year, and now we have the new Gen 2 car, so we are starting fresh, and I can’t wait to be on track with the team for the first race in Riyadh."
Looking ahead to the start of the season, Lopez expects to be competitive with Dragon Racing's all-new Gen2 EV-3 chassis:
"The team has put in an incredible effort during this, and I am looking forward to working with them to keep improving and evolving throughout the season," he added.
Dragon Racing founder and team principal Jay Penske hailed Lopez as "invaluable" and expressed the confidence that he has in the Argentinian racer:
“José showed a lot of promise in Season 4 and has been an invaluable asset in the development of the package for Season 5," he said.
"He is a real racer, and I am confident that his capabilities, paired with the evolution of our engineering organization will prove to be a winning formula this season. I look forward to seeing the results.”
Lopez's Season Five team-mate at Dragon is yet to be confirmed, however, Formula 2 midfield runner Maximilian Gunther is understood to in a strong position for the seat, acting as the team's test and reserve driver after being appointed to the role in March.
If hired, Gunther will replace Jerome d'Ambrosio who secured Dragon's only podium of the 2017/18 campaign at the inaugural Zurich E-Prix.
Formula E's fifth season of competition is set to commence on December 15 in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia while pre-season testing is set to commence next week on October 16.