When DS Automobiles recently committed to the Formula E Championship until at least late 2026, the firm described its relationship with the electric single-seater series as “l’histoire d’amour” – the love story. Undoubtedly, so far it has been a happy story.
Just one year after its formal separation from sister brand Citroën, DS joined Formula E for the 2014/15 season, the second year of the championship and the first in which manufacturers were found developing their own powertrains, DS partnered with Virgin Racing and Sam Bird claimed his first victory in race four of the year.
Since then, DS has won at least one race every season, the only manufacturer to do so.
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In the 2018-2019 season, DS went on to supply the Techeetah team, which had won the drivers’ title from the previous season with Jean-Éric Vergne. The new partnership with DS Techeetah instantly paid off with a double teams and drivers title, as Vergne became the first driver to win the championship more than once.
DS Techeetah claimed another double title in the interrupted 2019-20 season, although this time it was new signing António Félix da Costa, who moved from BMW and took the drivers’ crown.
Expectations for a new start
DS started the new season in Saudi Arabia as the team to beat and with their love affair in Formula E reaching new heights. That helps explain why DS has been married to the series for at least five more years, at a time when rivals like Audi and BMW are in the process of breaking off their relationships and looking elsewhere the love in motorsports.
But what do DS see in Formula E that the likes of Audi and BMW don’t see? There’s no question that winning helps- it’s much easier for a manufacturer to justify the expense of motorsports marketing when it’s collecting a lot of trophies.
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While manufacturers can use the category to help develop electric powertrains, which should be improved by upcoming Gen3 rules, more important is the brand-building they offer.
For a new brand like DS, still in the process of establishing themselves as a true French rival to German premium firms, Formula E offers a significant profile boost. It helps that DS has been more active than many manufacturers in establishing a real link between their road and race cars.
Information source | Autocar
Written by I Jhonattan González