Vergne: New DS FE powertrain won't "change our lives dramatically"

Jean-Eric Vergne says DS Techeetah's new Formula E powertrain won't bring a massive step in performance, despite the extra development time afforded by the new homologation cycle

Vergne: New DS FE powertrain won't "change our lives dramatically"

DS, Nissan and Dragon/Penske Autosport have all chosen the 5 April slot to homologate their new powertrains, which are due to last until the end of the Gen2 era in 2021-22.

While this means they would have to compete in next week's Diriyah E-Prix with the same hardware as last season's, it also gives them more time to develop their powertrains than their competitors that have already completed the homologation process ahead of the new season.

DS Techeetah swept both titles during the last two Formula E seasons and also looked strong in the official Valencia test last December, despite running its old powertrain.

But two-time FE champion Vergne doesn't expect DS Techeetah to make major gains when its new powertrain officially makes its debut in the Rome E-Prix in April, saying it "won't change our lives dramatically".

"As always, the powertrain we introduce is an improvement," Vergne said. "But I think we have to be careful there.

"The improvement we're talking about is barely seeable in lap times. It's more about efficiency in the race.

"Everything has been improved a little bit. But it's not like we are having a new powertrain in Rome and are going to gain three, four or five tenths. It doesn't work like this.

"In the same way that we're going to arrive in Riyadh with our old powertrain, it's not like we're going to be massively off the pace compared to the teams that have their new powertrain. I don't believe that.

"It's going to be nice to have the new powertrain but I don't expect it to change our lives dramatically."

Vergne's thoughts were echoed by Oliver Rowland, whose Nissan team finished second to DS Techeetah last season with one victory and four further podium positions.

But, while Rowland admits that there are minimal gains to be made on the powertrain side, he believes there is scope for improvement on those areas of the chassis that are free for development, including the suspension.

"The gains that we find these days are very small," Rowland told Autosport. "We already know that we are at a pretty high level of efficiency.

"So of course, we've had a little bit more time, but we are also pretty rushed to get the power unit ready for last year because of the season 5 regulation change [that banned the twin-motor system used by Nissan].

"We kind of rushed it last year, had a bit more time this year. I expect to be slightly better but I don't expect a huge massive change.

"Of course, on the chassis side and the suspension side and all the other bits there is a room for improvement still and they are probably the areas we feel like we've made some small gains in but still yet to be clarified I think."

shares
comments
Diriyah E-Prix gets layout change before 2020-21 FE season opener
Previous article

Diriyah E-Prix gets layout change before 2020-21 FE season opener

Next article

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Plus

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner Plus

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Brit

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Plus

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Plus

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity Plus

Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity

Although now well into his 24th consecutive season in racing, Andre Lotterer has no intention of winding his career down. Here he talks to Autosport about his and Porsche's continued progress in Formula E, his love for racing in Japan, and recalls his sole Formula 1 outing - and considers what's next in his lengthy career

Formula E
Apr 27, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Plus

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022