Dragon expecting to benefit from old FE powertrain

Nico Muller believes having a reliable car could play into the hands of Dragon Penske in the Diriyah E-Prix, with the team having elected to start the 2020/21 Formula E season with the same powertrain as last year.

Dragon expecting to benefit from old FE powertrain

Dragon Penske is one of the three teams that have chosen the second homologation slot on April 5, meaning its new powertrain won’t make its debut until the third round in Rome.

While DS Techeetah and Nissan are expected to be competitive with their old powertrains in Riyadh this week, having finished first and second respectively last season, Dragon Penske’s call to delay the introduction of its latest hardware package is puzzling as it recorded its worst-ever finish in FE in 2019/20.

But Muller says Dragon not only has a better understanding of the powertrain it is carrying over from last season, it can also benefit from any technical issues its rivals may face when they run their new package in racing conditions for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

“I still think it has advantages as well to keep the hardware that you know very well in terms of reliability especially,” Muller told Motorsport.com. “We should be quite well sorted on that front. 

“And I think here it’s just a matter of starting the season cleanly without any issues. Maybe we can also benefit from some mishap from others. For sure it will get even more exciting when we get the new car.

“We’ve tried new things [in testing], we’ve tried to optimise things we can do with the old hardware, in terms of software mainly.

“And I think we’ve understood our last year’s car better and I’m sure we can extract more from it in Riyadh.”

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Dragon mustered just two points across the 2019/20 season, courtesy of Brendon Hartley’s ninth-place finish in the second of the Diriyah races, and as a result slipped to 11th in the teams' standings.

It highlighted a massive decline in form for a team that scored multiple race wins and podiums in Formula E's Gen1 era, and scored top five finishes as recently as the 2018/19 campaign.

Asked what Dragon could do to become a regular points scorer again, Muller, who be joined by Formula 2 race winner Sergio Sette Camara in the team this season, said: “Well, I think we don’t have huge things that need to be changed. 

“It’s the details that make the difference and we’ve already started working on some of them. If we can put that package together, extract the maximum of our car that we have, which I think does have good potential, then I’m sure we can get close to scoring points regularly again. 

“The level has risen in Formula E. it’s getting stronger and stronger very year. The challenges are huge but we are up for it.”

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