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Vergne rubbishes FE homologation "advantage" suggestions

Jean-Eric Vergne has rubbished suggestions that DS Techeetah has gained an advantage by delaying the introduction of its new Formula E powertrain until April.

Vergne rubbishes FE homologation "advantage" suggestions

With supply chains being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Formula E teams had been given the option of homologating their new powertrains at the start of the 2020/21 season or at either of the two specified points later in the campaign.

The decision had to be made bearing in mind that these powertrains must last for two seasons until the Gen3 cars are introduced in 2022/23.

While a vast majority of the teams have elected to kick off the new campaign with their latest powertrain, DS, Nissan and Dragon/Penske Autosport won’t homologate their power units until the second slot on April 5.

When the new homologation rules were agreed with the teams, the 2020/21 Formula E calendar featured five rounds before the April window. However, due to the pandemic-induced schedule changes, only the Saudi Arabia races are now due to take place with that time frame.

With DS Techeetah, Nissan and Dragon/Penske now only required to run their old powertrain at only two races, several teams have expressed their frustration at the apparent advantage they’ve gained - although Motorsport.com understands that these teams are no longer as concerned about the situation as they were when the Santiago double-header was postponed.

However, Vergne feels there is no advantage to be gained from the homologation, saying those teams who have made such allegations “better focus on their jobs”.

“An advantage? I don't know if that's an advantage, we'll find out at the end of the year,” Vergne told Motorsport.com.

“I think quite a few people might like to say we've got an advantage, for sure, but we didn't anticipate COVID would last for so long, we didn't anticipate races would be postponed. In the end, we have nothing to do with it. 

“We followed the regulations, which gave us time to choose when we wanted to introduce our engine. For quite a few reasons, we decided it would be in April 2021. Then, it's not our fault that the calendar has changed.”

He added: “You know, it's funny – I've been in a position where I was losing, in a position where I was winning, and when you lose, you always find excuses: other people are cheating, or you've been having problems. 

“Those who say that had better focus on their jobs and not say such things. But I don't know who has said that, maybe nobody will say it [again].”

Vergne said DS took a strategic decision to use the second slot because it didn’t want to risk building a faulty powertrain by rushing with its build. 

“The homologation includes season eight – the following season,” the two-time FE champion explained. “I think it probably was a strategic decision by DS to wait until we were a bit more certain of what we wanted to put into that powertrain, given that we would have to race with it for a season and a half. 

“Those who rushed into making a powertrain – if we had designed it badly, we would have been stuck with that powertrain for two years. 

“I think DS probably preferred having slightly worse chances for the first part of this year's and maximise chances for the second part of the season and the next one.”

Read Also:

2015/16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi said Nissan factored in potential changes to the calendar while choosing the second homologation window.

"We didn't threaten them into homologating their powertrain for the first race!" Buemi told Motorsport.com. "When we made the call about homologation, we already knew that the championship, despite being published, would never take place as planned.

"When we made this decision, we knew why we were making it. Again, it's not like you're going to gain a second per lap. Then, it's really hard to say how much you lose or gain waiting [for the second homologation window]."

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About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Jean-Eric Vergne
Teams Techeetah
Author Rachit Thukral
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