Exclusive: Citroen’s top-secret Formula E test

Motorsport.com has learned that a top-secret Citroen Formula E test took place earlier this month close to Paris.

Exclusive: Citroen’s top-secret Formula E test
Virgin Racing
Citroen C4 WRC detail
Virgin Racing Formula E Team
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Richard Branson, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Listen to this article

The covert run is believed to have taken place on May 11 at the Val D’Or test facility close to Versailles, where Citroen Racing is based.

The test, which is the first time one of the eight season two manufacturers has track tested its technology, is understood to have been undertaken by an official Citroen Racing development driver.

Motorsport.com believes that several innovative electric racing technologies were shaken down at Val D’Or, including either a single-gear or seamless-shift gearbox.

CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is currently not allowed in the Formula E technical regulations, but Motorsport.com understands that several parties are lobbying the organisers to allow its use in future campaigns.

Sources indicate that the topic was discussed at the team principals’ meeting at the Berlin event last Friday.

The eight manufacturer teams have purchased new chassis from Spark to fit season-two systems, and Motorsport.com can reveal that these were delivered at the beginning of May.

The Citroen test is the first time one has run on the track but at least two more (Andretti and eDAMS Renault) are expected to test next month.

Series boss Alejandro Agag admitted in Berlin last weekend that “some of the season two projects are more advanced than others. But I know one has already tested the powertrain. At least four or five will be ready for next season.”

Citroen and Virgin close-in on deal

Citroen is planning to enter Formula E next season under its DS brand, and it is believed that an official announcement concerning a partnership with the Virgin Racing team could be made next month at the London ePrix, where Sir Richard Branson is scheduled to attend.

It remains unclear as to whether Virgin Racing personnel attended the test at Versailles. Virgin Racing technical director, Sylvain Filippi, refused to comment on the test but spoke to Motorsport.com about the team’s season two plans.

“The homologation date for us is coming really rapidly now, next month,” Filippi told Motorsport.com. “We have tested most of our systems on the bench. We are working with several partners and we have a five year road map.

“We have the same goals as the championship has in running with one car per driver in season five. The focus will be on reliability next season as there is no point in having something exotic and then never finishing a race, so this is the key challenge.

“Small, lightweight and high torque is where we are aiming in the future,” continued Filippi. “At the moment there is a lot of speculation and I even heard we had a new battery already, which is complete nonsense."

Efficiency the key

Filippi quashed the notion that one team could advance so much and run away with the season two title, stating: “I don’t think it will happen because ultimately we will be limited by the battery.

“The differences you will see will be in acceleration, top speed and efficiency. You can only go as quick as your efficiency and no-one is going to make massive steps on efficiency.

"So ultimately we will have different designs but it should be still very close, which is great for everyone.”

shares
comments
Justin Wilson to make Formula E debut
Previous article

Justin Wilson to make Formula E debut

Next article

Visa Europe becomes title sponsor for Formula E London ePrix championship finale

Visa Europe becomes title sponsor for Formula E London ePrix championship finale
The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title Prime

The trait Vandoorne rediscovered to claim Formula E's era-ending title

After Nyck de Vries was crowned Formula E champion in 2021, his Mercedes teammate Stoffel Vandoorne stepped forward this season as the Gen2 era and his team bowed out. As he did on the way to the GP2 crown in 2015, the Belgian achieved a peerless level of consistency and was only outside the points once, with his sole win in Monaco sufficient to head off a chasing pack headed by Mitch Evans

Formula E
Sep 19, 2022
Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season Prime

Why Bird can bounce back after a tough 2021-22 Formula E season

With his winning streak coming to an end this season, the 2021-22 Formula E season was tumultuous for Sam Bird, failing to gather momentum as Jaguar generally struggled. But the long-term favourite looks forward to bouncing back next season as the championship enters its new era

Formula E
Aug 30, 2022
What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2 Prime

What Formula E needs next after saying goodbye to Gen2

The 2021-2022 Formula E season finale brought the curtain down on the Gen2 era of the all-electric world championship. It elevated FE to new heights, fulfilling its intended directive. While it is a good launching pad for the impending Gen3 cycle, there are certain aspects the series must tackle for the new era to have the same impact as its predecessor

Formula E
Aug 16, 2022
The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge Prime

The traits behind Vandoorne's triumphant Formula E title charge

The odds were heavily stacked in Stoffel Vandoorne’s favour to capture the Formula E crown at the Seoul finale, but chief rival Mitch Evans applied maximum pressure with victory in the first race. It meant Vandoorne had to show his resolve to reproduce the key qualities he held all season to complete his march to the title

Formula E
Aug 15, 2022
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Prime

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks.

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Prime

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there.

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London Prime

How Formula E's title contenders were upstaged in London

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale.

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight Prime

The ex-F1 racer turned team boss adapting to a FE title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Motorsport.com, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022