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DS Boss Warns of Accelerated Budget Escalation

Formula E has to be wary of escalating budgets and continue its drive to regulate its technical roadmap according to DS’ Xavier Mestelan-Pinon…..

Photo: DS Performance

Formula E has to be wary of escalating budgets and continue its drive to regulate its technical roadmap according to one of the leading manufacturer technical heads in the championship.

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, has called for Formula E to further manage competitors financial outlay as manufacturers continue to flock to the series.

The championship has a rigid roadmap that currently runs to a three-year cycle up to and including Season Seven in 2021.

Beyond that, there is scope for more openness in technical systems, which could escalate budgets above and beyond those which attracted several manufacturers to join the series.

“For us, road car relevance is the key, but we have to do this with a closed budget and a good return on investment,” Mestelan-Pinon told e-racing365.

“Today, I am a little bit afraid of some other manufacturers and how tricky they could make it for the series. [Formula E] is still fragile and brand-new.

“We have to work and to spend our money step-by-step. For me it is very important to avoid a dramatic increase in the budgets.”

Another area for concern according to Mestelan-Pinon was often viewed as the fickle nature of manufacturer involvement in racing championships.

He believes these needs to be solidified and managed on a long-term basis.

“I am pretty sure it is impossible for nine or ten manufacturers to stay together in the series because only maybe two or three manufacturers will win,” he said.

“I am sure that after three or four years some will stop their involvement and then what happens?

“We are in a long program and we want to improve the DS brand but at the same time we want to improve all our knowledge of new technology.”

A strong correlation to both road car and other motorsport programs was also a major attraction for DS Automobiles in Formula E.

The French manufacturer currently provides a powertrain for Virgin Racing but is hotly tipped to be partnering with the Techeetah squad from Season Five onwards.

“We want to be able to share the R&D with other programs, like for example if Peugeot do a future World RX electric one,” Mestelan-Pinon said.

“We will get stronger and stronger with new EV technology and this is very important.

“Clearly, the technology on the car will start to change when we move in to a new direction and a series like Formula E today or electric-powered Rallycross in the future will be very important and helpful for the manufacturers.”

Mestelan-Pinon was quick to make the observation that DS Automobiles, a member of the PSA Group which encompass Peugeot and Citroen, wants to continue several recent examples of cross-pollination within the motorsport and automotive industries.

“This will be just like 15 years ago with vehicle dynamics in rallying,” he said. “It is a big help to have programs like this that can help manufacturers and this is a good solution but we have to take care of the budget.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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