Formula E Preview: Dragon Racing

Dragon Racing Formula E

Ahead of the inaugural Formula E race weekend we're taking a look at the series' runners and riders. Next up, American outfit Dragon Racing, who will field Jerome d’Ambrosio and Oriol Servia.

After a year spent largely on the sidelines, IndyCar squad Dragon Racing return to action in Formula E, where they will run a pair of experienced drivers in veteran Oriol Servia, and former F1 racer Jerome d’Ambrosio.

Owned by Jay Penske, the son of legendary team boss Roger Penske, Dragon were reasonably successful in IndyCar without ever managing a breakthrough victory.

Upon their transition to Formula E, the team were towards the bottom of the times for much of pre-season testing, until D'Ambrosio gave them a confidence-boosting eighth in the final session. They’re not exactly favourites for victory in China, but the Belgian has shown that they’re not to be underestimated either.

D'Ambrosio was a solid-but-unspectacular GP2 driver, contesting three seasons for DAMS without ever setting the world alight.

His single F1 campaign with Marussia in 2011 was equally quiet and there was little fanfare when he lost his seat. He became Lotus reserve in 2012 and replaced Romain Grosjean when the Frenchman was banned from the Italian Grand Prix, but again he didn't do enough to keep his name in the F1 frame.

Since then he's done a little GT racing for Bentley before making the switch to Formula E. He’s also done a spot of GP2 commentating, which was often good fun as Jerome wasn’t shy about criticising his former rivals.

40-year-old Servia is the senior member of the grid and steps in to replace the team's original signing, Mike Conway, who has elected to focus on his Toyota LMP1 programme.

The Spanish-born racer has been in America for well over a decade, though his thick accent gives you little hint of that. He is undoubtedly very talented, but has struggled to hold down a full-time IndyCar seat due to a lack of funds. That has resulted in a nomadic existence: in 13 years, Servia has turned out for 12 teams and never driven for the same one for two full seasons on the bounce.

But you only have to look at his brilliant 2011 campaign - where he finished fourth at a financially ailing Newman/Haas squad - for proof of his abilities. Alas, money troubles saw the team withdraw at the season’s end, preventing Servia from building on his fine performances.

It will be interesting to see the Spaniard in a new environment after so long in American open-wheel racing. Conway was an exciting choice given his heroics on street circuits this year, but Servia represents a very solid replacement.