Vergne: Gains from new DS FE powertrain "barely seeable"

Jean-Eric Vergne insists 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: Gains from new DS FE powertrain "barely seeable"

DS, Nissan and Dragon/Penske Autosport have all chosen the April 5 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 their old powertrain.

But two-time FE champion Vergne doesn’t expect the French manufacturer 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.“

Read Also:

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 Motorsport.com. “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
Formula E makes last-minute Diriyah track layout changes

Previous article

Formula E makes last-minute Diriyah track layout changes

Next article

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album
Load comments
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Prime

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Prime

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap.

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Prime

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space Prime

How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat.

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Prime

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock.

Formula E
May 11, 2021
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021