Non-manufacturer Formula E teams have 10 days to confirm their plans for Season Five after details of the registration deadlines were released by the FIA today.
At present, only Techeetah and Virgin Racing do not have manufacturer status for season five. This means they must partner with a registered powertrain provider for next season, which will begin at the end of 2018. All teams and manufacturers had prior knowledge of the deadlines before they were made public this morning.
It is widely understood that Techeetah will partner with DS Automobiles. The French manufacturer is one of the nine registered manufacturers for the 2018/19 season, and confirmation of the new alliance is expected in March.
The other eight registered manufacturers are ABT Formel E, BMW AG, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahindra Racing, NextEV NIO, Penske Autosport, Renault and Venturi Automobiles.
The ABT Formel E and Renault registrations are anticipated to be changed to Audi Sport and Nissan respectively by the end of February.
Virgin Racing is faced with a choice of which powertrain it uses in Season Five, and must make that decision by 15th January. After this date, there are no obligations for manufacturers to accept requests to supply a powertrain to a customer.
Virgin Racing boss Alex Tai told e-racing365 last October: “There are lots of options and the way the series is designed means that none of those are cost prohibitive.
“There are options but we don’t actually have to make a decision for some time. Right now we are working with DS and we are delighted with it. They have fantastic racing credentials.”
Additionally, the HWA organization, which has been rumoured to be considering entering Formula E in what would effectively be Mercedes 11th team slot in Season Five, also has just over a week to partner with a customer powertrain should they wish to do so.
Mercedes has already confirmed it will join the all-electric series in Season Six, but a possible acceleration of its plans via HWA and using another powertrain to prepare for their full factory entry is known to have been considered.
However, HWA’s recent partnership with Venturi could be viewed as a sufficient learning process for Mercedes ahead of its full entry in 2019.