Jean-Eric Vergne reckons that rivals of his Techeetah team should be “worried” by the potential boost the squad may get from its Formula E tie-up with DS Automobiles next season.
Vergne claimed the 2017/18 FE drivers’ title with Techeetah using customer Renault powertrains as the championship’s sole private squad.
Techeetah only lost the teams’ championship to Audi by two points, and confirmed its long-rumoured partnership with DS last month.
Now as a manufacturer-backed team, Techeetah will be able to run 15 days of private testing ahead of season five – previously it could only run its cars during the three days of official pre-season testing.
As well as the extra testing, Vergne believes the benefits of OEM support will also significantly increase Techeetah’s budget.
“I look at what we've done this year as a private team with the smallest budget [and] no testing days,” Vergne said. “Imagine what we can do with a manufacturer, 15 days of testing and probably double the budget? I think those guys [Techeetah’s rivals] should be worried.”
Vergne also feels that Techeetah should be proud of its season four performance, despite the disappointment of losing the teams’ championship at the last race in New York.
The Frenchman’s race two victory in that event was not enough as second and third places behind him secured the title for Audi, while Vergne’s teammate Andre Lotterer finished ninth after getting a 10-second stop/go penalty as he ran second early-on for jumping the start.
“It’s difficult for them because they gave so much,” Vergne said. “But what we’ve done as a small team, the only private team, not a manufacturer like the giant Audi, is absolutely amazing and they should all be extremely proud of what they’ve done.
“Next year with a manufacturer, with more budget, we should be able to do very well.
“We’re still a young team, everybody learns in the team, and it should keep everybody highly motivated to go and get the teams’ championship for next season.”
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