Among the most decorated of race teams, in German squad ABT Sportsline - formally the outfit behind Audi's Formula E drive - welcomes Spanish automaker CUPRA on-board from Season 9. Also in in tow is the returning Nico Mueller, while Robin Frijns joins the ABT family once again, this time in Formula E.
Frijns has been a long-time member of the ABT team outside of Formula E, and makes the switch to their Formula E operation this year, while Mueller is back after 12 months, or so, out of Formula E. He was the natural choice for ABT given their long and fruitful relationship in German touring cars that's brought home plenty of silverware over the last few years.
READ MORE: ABT drivers talk Season 9
The pair were midpack across much of testing with Frijns setting the 10th best time overall and Mueller the 19th. Both are aware there are issues to sort as the team gets to grips with the all-new Gen3 car and its Mahindra Racing powertrain. Plenty to chew through with the team making its Formula E comeback.
"We'll be kind of an underdog but I think if there's a smaller, leaner team that can put pressure on the biggest operations, then it is us," says Mueller.
American outfit Avalanche Andretti will be powered by Porsche from 2022/23 and ultra-experience German Andre Lotterer has made the jump from the factory Porsche team after a three-season spell to join Andretti alongside returning Jake Dennis - who's already into his third Formula E campaign.
Andretti powered to sixth in the Teams' table to round out the Gen3 era, with 27-year-old Brit Dennis sealing a stunning home win in London on the way to sixth in the Drivers' standings. The team sees the opportunity Gen3 brings, with a clean slate across the board and a new lighter, faster, more powerful race car to get the most out of. With the new powertrain partnership with Porsche - expectations are high and the livery's sharp.
Dennis and Lotterer will be hoping they've more pace in Mexico than they had once the final laps were completed in Valencia, with 13th and 16th, respectively, the best the duo could muster overall.
DS Automobiles have partnered with PENSKE AUTOSPORT for 2022/23 and have signed two of the biggest names on the grid to steer them to glory; double champion Jean-Eric Vergne and reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne. With credentials like those, they’ll definitely be ones to watch.
The French automaker is hoping its DS E-TENSE FE23, in that trademark black and gold livery, will keep the team at the sharp end of the grid. DS is looking to build on a highly successful Gen2 era, with a pair of Drivers' and Teams' titles to its name and benchmark records of 10 wins, 15 Julius Baer Pole Positions and a total of 28 podiums.
READ MORE: Testing wrap! What did we learn in Valencia?
Both drivers looked mighty in Valencia right out of the garage. Vandoorne ultimately pipped Vergne to second behind Guenther's best-of-the-week but both will be mightily happy with the shape they and their new car look to be in ahead of the opening race of Season 9.
Nick Cassidy will be joined by one of Formula E's most experienced drivers in Sebastien Buemi for 2022/23 at Envision Racing The Swiss is a Formula E champion, with 29 podiums and 13 wins to his name - having competed in every one of eight seasons to-date in the world's leading electric racing series.
Cassidy himself signed off Gen2 in style with a hard-fought and memorable maiden victory on the streets of New York. He'll look to add to this, as well as four pole positions, as the 28-year-old heads into a third season with the team.
It was 11th and 17th, for Cassidy and Buemi in Valencia. Could do better, and the team will be looking up rather than down the pack heading to Mexico City.
Jaguar TCS Racing
Legendary British marque Jaguar TCS Racing is the only team on the grid to field an unchanged driver line-up, with Mitch Evans and Sam Bird making their return.
Off the back of its highest points haul in Formula E to-date, the team is looking to go further still in Season 9 and Gen3 with its I-TYPE 6 - the storied motor racing marque's most advanced and efficient race car ever. It's opted for consistency in-car, as a result of its strong end to the Gen2 era, and a unique mirrored livery across its pair of cars in Season 9.
Bird heads into the Gen3 era as among the most experienced drivers on the grid, but off the back of his worst points haul to-date; nobody saw that coming, nor a winless season for the first time in his Formula E career.
Evans has taken it to the final round in both of the last two campaigns, and the New Zealander will once again hope he can go one better this time around - he definitely has the pace. Can Jaguar hit the ground running?
It was the Brit who set the team's pace in testing, with the sixth-quickest time of the week. A few technical issues for Evans' I-TYPE 6 limited him to only 18th.
Mahindra Racing showed off its M9Electro ahead of testing in Valencia, as the Anglo-Indian outfit rounding out this season's livery unveils with a striking red and copper scheme.
The team signed 2016/17 champion Lucas di Grassi over the off-season to drive alongside the returning Oliver Rowland. Its powertrain is also set to underpin ABT Sportsline's return to Formula E alongside Spanish manufacturer CUPRA.
Fourteenth overall with a high of second position in Seoul rounded out Rowland's Gen2 and the Yorkshireman will have everything crossed that it all comes together come Mexico City - his best of fifth overall in the series in 2019/20 while at Nissan will be the dream aim. He left Spain and testing fifth quickest overall - encouraging signs for both driver and team.
Di Grassi headed into the finale, and the weekend of his 100th Formula E race, in Seoul with a chance of the title. Ultimately, the Brazilian fell away and Vandoorne's consistency conquered but no driver is more experienced and debatably more successful than the man with 100 entries and 13 wins to his name. Only Sebastien Buemi can match that tally, and at a slightly higher win percentage: 13.27% to di Grassi's 13%. The Brazilian wound up 15th on the overall timesheets in Valencia, with work to do.
Maserati MSG Racing
Maserati marks its return to single seater competition for the first time in more than 60 years and is set to become the first Italian marque to compete in Formula E. Both outfits have cited Formula E as key to their EV development programmes, as an intense sporting laboratory to drive learnings from racetrack, ultimately to their road-going offerings.
The Trident launched in Italy a fortnight ago with its iconic colours adorning Maserati MSG Racing's new Tipo Folgore set to be driven by Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Guenther.
READ MORE: Guenther on settling in at his new team, and that Valencia pace
Mortara extends his relationship with the outfit as Maserati joins the fold for Gen3, while Guenther makes the move after stints at Dragon, BMW/Andretti and Nissan. The former put himself in the picture for Drivers' World Championship honours in both Season 7 and Season 8, and spearheaded the team to second in the Teams' standings and its best points-haul to-date in Formula E, under its prior Venturi guise.
Guenther and Maserati MSG Racing set the timesheets alight in Valencia, with the German setting the fastest time in five of the seven timed sessions and his 1m25.127s in that seventh and last session of the week was a new Formula E lap record at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
McLaren enters the fold for Season 9 alongside the cream of the world’s EV manufacturers and race teams on the Formula E grid.
The legendary race team is among the greatest names in motorsport, with 20 Formula 1 World Championship titles, 180 Grand Prix wins and three Indianapolis 500 victories to its name, as well as a Le Mans 24 Hours win at the first attempt. Rene Rast, multiple DTM champion and fiery Formula E fighter will turn out in papaya alongside Jake Hughes, with the British brand expectant but not complacent in its search for maiden silverware in electric racing's top tier.
READ MORE: Hughes flies in first Formula E outing proper
Hughes has two years under his belt as reserve driver at the McLaren team's prior incarnation - Mercedes-EQ - and the 28-year-old fought hard to climb the ranks with five competitive seasons in GP3 Series and FIA Formula 3.
So, the McLaren move he's now secured is the culmination of years' work, and not he's got the opportunity, he's keen to show what he can do in machinery like no other. He impressed right away, too. In Valencia, as of Friday morning, he'd only failed to make the top 10 on the timesheets on one occasion and posted the second-quickest time twice.
Rast is fast, that's a fact. He showed it in his prior spell in Formula E, securing the most fastest laps of anybody over Season 7. He has silverware to his name with a Berlin podium that same campaign, and one in Puebla the season prior. The multiple, and youngest, DTM champion, will be one to watch.
NIO 333 Racing
The team's turquoise stays, and in comes flashes of white and red - evoking NIO's Chinese roots - on blue and black.
Dan Ticktum will return alongside new signing Sergio Sette Camara for Season 9. The 23-year-old Brit scored points in Rome and will be looking to build in 2022/23, while Sette Camara has shown he is more than capable of getting the most out of what's underneath him after an impressive spell with DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT.
Points in London in two consecutive seasons are Sette Camara's highlights but it could have been so much more in the opener from the UK capital were it not for overconsumption of energy and a slow crawl to the finish.
Ticktum also got points last season, in Rome, as the team's strategy paid off in a big way in a points-double that "felt like a win". He's a double Macau GP winner and came fourth in FIA F2 before he joined us on the Formula E grid - and he's settled in just perfectly.
Eyes will be on more points for both, and mid-pack pace is there on paper, if the collective Valencia times are anything to go by.
Nissan took the covers off its e-4ORCE 04 Gen3 car earlier this month, heralding in the fresh start with a cherry blossom inspired livery. The team also reintroduced its Season 9 driver line-up, with Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz set to partner for the Japanese outfit in 2022/23.
It's a new beginning for both team and championship - the Japanese squad competing under the Nissan name alone for the first time in Formula E after it acquired the e.dams operation earlier this year.
Nato's back after a year away - having left then-Venturi following a maiden win in the Berlin finale of Season 7. Both Nato and Nissan will be pleased the Frenchman soared to the seventh-fastest time in Spain at testing, though technical trouble didn't help Fenestraz as he sought to better the slowest time of the week.
TAG Heuer Porsche
TAG Heuer Porsche's striking new 99X Electric is set to be piloted by Pascal Wehrlein and new teammate, Season 6 champion Antonio Felix da Costa who makes the move from DS ahead of Season 9.
The covers came off at the Porsche Experience Centre in Franciacorta, Italy, and its car retains the familiar red, black and white colour way that we've become accustomed to for Porsche in Formula E, but the new livery takes on a new design to match up to the angular lines of the Gen3.
Da Costa has competed in Formula E since the inaugural 2014/15 campaign and strode to the Drivers' title in Season 6, with the Portuguese dominating the unique six-race nine-day Berlin finale. The 30-year-old has 96 race starts, seven wins, 16 podiums and eight Julius Baer Pole Positions to his name.
Since that title win its been a pair of eighth-placed finishes in the Drivers' standings for da Costa - with just a win in each of Season 7 and 8. He'll be hoping for more this season, though 20th in testing is not the best start. Teammate Wehrlein managed 12th and he'll be hoping for a replica of the team's dream maiden win - a one-two at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2021/22.