Formula E Notes: Sebastien Buemi, Nicolas Prost in at e.dams-Renault (VIDEO)

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More than two decades ago, the Formula One world was captivated by the legendary battles between Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna. Now, Prost’s son and Senna’s nephew will be going head-to-head in Formula E.

Today, French squad e.dams-Renault (co-owned by Alain and Jean-Paul Driot) announced that World Endurance Championship drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost will suit up for their side in the inaugural F-E championship that begins in September.

The addition of Nicolas to the F-E grid ensures a “Prost vs. Senna” revival, as Bruno Senna is set to drive at Mahindra Racing.

Former Toro Rosso F1 racer Buemi remains involved in that world as the current tester and reserve driver for four-time defending World Champion Red Bull.

As for Nicolas, he has past open-wheel experience as a tester for Lotus F1 and a racer in multiple leagues such as Spanish Formula 3, Euroseries 3000, and A1GP.

Said Driot in a Renault statement: “We have recruited two very talented drivers for this exciting new challenge. In addition to his driving skills, Nicolas Prost will bring his ability to think outside of the box to the table, as well as his technical background and his ability to analyze the technical aspects of this all-electric formula.

“Sébastien Buemi will bring his reputation and speed, along with the fact that he is extremely popular with the public and motor racing fans.”

Also making a driver announcement today was Jarno Trulli’s TrulliGP team, which has now paired Italian driver Michaela Cerruti with the longtime F1 veteran.

Cerruti becomes the second female driver on the F-E grid, joining Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge. She currently competes in both the AutoGP open-wheel series (where she won this past month at Imola) and in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

“Michela is a very talented driver with a natural skill,” Trulli said of his new teammate in a statement. “I was impressed by her recent results considering the very limited time she has spent in single-seaters.

“I’m extremely happy to share my long Formula 1 experience with Michela to make our team successful.  I’m convinced that Michela is an up and coming star, the one to watch for this season and the future.”

Adding to the busy Monday around F-E was the confirmation of Battersea Park in South London, England as the site for the London ePrix, which will serve as the 2014-2015 season finale on June 27, 2015.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said that the ePrix would “provide an awesome addition to the capital’s sporting calendar.”

“…Hosting the championship final of this all-electric race is a fantastic feather in our city’s sporting cap,” he added. “It shows that there is great confidence in London’s ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events, which play such an important role in boosting our economy and our international reputation.”

As part of the announcement, a fleet of Spark-Renault machines took to the city’s Westminster Bridge. You can check out the demonstration below:

IndyCar’s 2018 full-field grid nearing completion

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Following Wednesday’s confirmation of the all-Canadian tandem at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, each of the eight full-time teams in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season have announced at least one driver for 2018, leaving very few remaining question marks.

What stands confirmed is below:

CONFIRMED

  • Team Penske (3, Chevrolet): Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power
  • Chip Ganassi Racing (1, Honda): Scott Dixon
  • Andretti Autosport (4, Honda): Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Zach Veach
  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2, Honda): Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2, Honda): James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens
  • Ed Carpenter Racing (2, Chevrolet): Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter (ovals)
  • A.J. Foyt Enterprises (1, Chevrolet): Tony Kanaan
  • Dale Coyne Racing (1, Honda): Sebastien Bourdais
  • Harding Racing (1, Chevrolet): Gabby Chaves

There are four additional drivers confirmed for selected races or an month of May program:

  • Team Penske (1, Chevrolet): Helio Castroneves
  • Andretti Autosport (1, Honda): Stefan Wilson
  • Calmels Sport with SPM (1, Honda): Tristan Gommendy
  • Team TBD (1, TBD): Kyle Kaiser

All told that’s 17 full-season driver and team combinations confirmed and four additional part-time programs, at least, that are set. Several of those driver/team combinations will have engineering and strategist changes, as well.

In a minor note since our last update at Sonoma, Marco Andretti confirmed he won’t run No. 27 next year. Of note, Bryan Herta served as Andretti’s race strategist this year, although the car he was an entrant on was Alexander Rossi’s No. 98 car. Herta will continue his relationship with Andretti Autosport again next season.

WHAT’S LEFT TO SORT? NOT MUCH

Elsewhere, there’s only a handful of remaining question marks as the series hits mid-October, a rarity from past years and an illustration of the urgency to fill seats to get as much preparation time in testing with the new 2018 Dallara universal aero kit as possible.

NBC Sports expects 2016 Indy Lights champion and 2017 IndyCar rookie-of-the-year Ed Jones to be confirmed soon as second driver in Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Honda alongside Sebastien Bourdais, with team personnel and Bourdais both having indicated a preference in keeping the Dubai-based Brit for a second year.

NBC Sports also expects Jones’ successor as Indy Lights champion, Kyle Kaiser, to have his future announced shortly in terms of which team he’ll step up to IndyCar with. It would not be a surprise if Kaiser does graduate along with Juncos Racing, although Kaiser is known to have talked to multiple teams. The Mazda Motorsports scholarship nets him $1 million for a three-race program, including the 102nd Indianapolis 500, with the driver then needing to secure additional funding for further races, as Jones and Pigot both have each of the last two years.

The status of Brendon Hartley has now been thrown up as a slight question mark dependent on how his Formula 1 debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso goes at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, and if Toro Rosso provides him a further race opportunity in one of the remaining three Grands Prix thereafter. Having been all-but-earmarked for Chip Ganassi Racing’s second seat in 2018, if an F1 offer comes, Hartley’s potential IndyCar bow could get delayed.

A McLaren-named entry competing either in the Indianapolis 500 or full-time seems further off than realistic for next year, McLaren’s Zak Brown told reporters on a teleconference this week. McLaren maintains an IndyCar technical presence though, via its McLaren Applied Technologies outfit.

What’s left then are the dominoes of whether Carlin’s IndyCar plans officially come to fruition as the team has gotten closer than it ever has to doing so, and who emerges in the second seats at A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Ed Carpenter Racing (road and street courses), respectively.

A number of young IndyCar veterans – Max Chilton, Charlie Kimball, Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly namely – are yet to land for 2018 and there’s no guarantee all four of them will be back in IndyCar next season.

There’s also a handful of young drivers, namely RC Enerson, Jack Harvey, Esteban Gutierrez, Santiago Urrutia, Zachary Claman DeMelo, Sage Karam and Matthew Brabham among others, who could well emerge in the frame for seats.

Gutierrez’s status seemed dependent on Mexico City being added to the 2018 calendar, and although the race still could be added, the fact neither is in place at this point doesn’t inspire as much confidence about his presence as a regular on the grid as it did earlier this summer.

All told, there’s not nearly that much to sort out as IndyCar’s grid for 2018 is looking very much close to set at this early stage of a long offseason.