Reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne denies the idea that his DS Techeetah team has a significant advantage over the rest of the field.
Vergne narrowly missed out on victory in the opening race of the 2018/19 season in Ad Diriyah after he received a drive-through penalty for a regen infringement. He and his team-mate Andre Lotterer were running first and second when the penalties were served.
But he does not believe that his pace advantage was down to the car and expects the lead battle to be much more competitive at this weekend’s Marrakesh round.
“I don’t think we had an advantage in Riyadh. It’s just that Andre and I were better prepared and some drivers were a bit lost driving their cars around the track. I wouldn’t call this an advantage,” he told FormulaSpy.
“Here everybody knows the track, we’re going to have more time to work on it because we’re going to have dry weather in free practice so it will be a lot closer. We sure hope to be fastest, I don’t think we’re going to be the slowest but I don’t expect to see a big advantage like we saw in Riyadh.”
Other drivers have noticed that the Techeetah, who’s backing manufacturer DS is one of two teams to have designed its own brake-by-wire system, looked particularly strong on the brakes in Ad Diriyah. Vergne, however, believed that this was more a result of several drivers being unable to perform at their best after heavy rain caused practice to be cancelled.
“It’s not the brakes. We were just confident with the car. In Valencia we didn’t have the best brakes and everyone has the same ones from Valencia so that’s not the answer.”
“When I look at some drivers how they were driving, quick drivers normally but they were nowhere. They didn’t know when to brake or turn.
“To be one second faster than anyone else, it cannot be the car. Andre and I were on the same level and had the same preparation and I think it’s down to that. The next day when were testing many drivers did the times we were doing.
“In private testing many drivers were fast. Virgin did the fastest time, e.dams was quick, so was Audi before a crash, everybody was quick the day after. It’s not like we were one second faster than anyone.”