DS Techeetah boss Mark Preston reckons it “could only be a good thing” for his squad to supply a customer team should another Stellantis marque enter Formula E.
Preston was the founder and technical director of the Super Aguri Formula 1 squad, which ran with customer Honda engines throughout three seasons the team was in the championship.
Preston led the Team Aguri entry into Formula E and stood as team principal when this one was bought out by Chinese firm SECA ahead of the 2016-17 season. For the next two years, Techeetah ran with a customer powertrain from Renault – with Jean-Eric Vergne winning the 2017-18 drivers’ title as the team finished runner-up to Audi.
When asked about Techeetah now partnered with automotive manufacturer DS Automobiles, Preston said: “In season three and four, we were lucky enough to do a good deal with Renault, so we had a lot of support. That was part of the reason that we were obviously successful in that season.”
He also indicated with his experience of having been with a costumer team previously, he has realized that this pushed teams even harder.
“It could only be good by pushing us harder if we ended up with a customer team,” said.
This comes with the speculation that another member of the newly formed Stellantis automotive group – namely Alfa Romeo or Maserati – could join Formula E alongside the two-time teams’ champion and run as its powertrain customer.
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Formula E chief executive officer Jamie Reigle said: “When you look at Stellantis, DS currently has one customer team [DS Automobile supplies the Techeetah works team]. You could imagine whether it’s another brand within their group or an independent customer team, there is scope for them to apply that powertrain to another participant”.
This follows the FIA (International Automobile Federation) collaborating with Formula E teams to clarify “grey areas” concerning the customer model that will be used by the series for the forthcoming Gen3 regulations. When the new rules are brought in for the 2022-23 season, powertrain manufacturers must provide the same software upgrades to both their works and customers teams at each race.
Written by | Gabriel Sayago