Lopez – Manufacturers entering Formula E ‘hurts’ Dragon

Dragon Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez believes more manufacturers entering Formula E is starting to “hurt” the team.

Although Dragon has manufacturer status by creating a unique powertrain it is a relatively small one that Lopez described as closer to a privateer, making it harder to compete with the leading competitors.

For the past two seasons it has used the same Magneti Marelli motor that Mahindra uses, but its unique inverters and overall layout had compromised the car’s pace, finishing ninth in the team’s standings last season.

“It’s a difficult point. For sure today the series is growing and manufacturers are coming. At one point it starts to hurt us,” Lopez told FormulaSpy.

“Manufacturers come with a lot of knowledge and budget and people. Even if you’re limited by budget or people you’re always going to have this power of the manufacturers.

“I think at one point we really hope to [compete], I think we’re working and we hope to get the chance but now we need to work as we can. Last year we did big progress through the season and I hope that we can at least be competitive and achieve a fight.

“For now we’ll see if it’s enough or not but everyone in the team is giving 150 per cent. Today we are the only privateer team in the series so we know it’s going to be hard, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to try to do good things.”

The team experienced some brake-by-wire issues during its initial private testing runs, but it was able to get on top of them before reaching public testing in Valencia.

“We had some problems in the beginning but if you ask everyone they’ll all say we needed more [testing],” Lopez added.

“[Brake-by-wire] is new and is very important to get to work. It’s a very powerful tool, it can really help you but if it doesn’t work properly it can also compromise the braking.

“You are pretty much tied now because you can’t really change the brake balance as a driver, you don’t have the switch because it’s all electronic. So if it doesn’t work it really makes things complicated.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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