Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Principal James Barclay believes that his team’s difficult weekend in Paris will make it stronger in the long-run as it chases a so-far elusive first win in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
The team failed to score any points for the first time since the Montreal E-Prix last July as Mitch Evans took 15th position after serving a penalty for a gearbox change and Nelson Piquet Jr. retired because of a second successive seatbelts issue.
“It will make us stronger and we have to go through these things if we are to become a race and championship winning proposition,” Barclay told e-racing365.
“We have all the ingredients there. We have seen it throughout Formula E that if you have an issue in Practice 1 and compound it in Practice 1 there is very little you can salvage.
“It will come soon for us, it really will. We just hope it is sooner rather than later.”
Barclay also stated that Piquet’s brace of accidents in practice will also ensure that the Brazilian will “regroup” ahead of the next round of the championship in Berlin.
“After the first accident Nelson got straight back on it and was doing a purple sector. That shows you he is a real competitor,” said Barclay.
“You look at the details and data and he is quick but sometimes it just doesn’t roll for you. He will regroup, he’s a strong character and will go away and look at how he wants to approach things.”
Barclay also pin-pointed valuable operational experience for the team after Piquet’s accidents which eliminated him from taking part in the qualifying session.
“The simple fact is that we have never done a tub change since we joined the championship and the guys came through that experience and did a great job,” he said.
“To have done that in the time we did was really impressive, especially as the other car got damaged when that process began.”
Seatbelt Issues Haunt Piquet Again
Piquet retired from his second consecutive Formula E race when his seatbelts became undone after his car-swap pit-stop.
The incident in Paris occurred soon after he exited the pits, as opposed to immediately after the pit stop which occurred in Rome earlier this month.
Barclay explained that the uncoupling happened when Piquet attempted to tighten his belts.
“We did the car change and he went out and it was fine but during his stint he went to tighten the belts and in doing that they came loose,” Barclay told e-racing365.
“We are looking what the precise cause of that is and to see if it is a repeat of what happened last time.
“It’s nothing we are doing but it seems to be something specific when tightening the belts. The way the buckle system works isn’t designed to do this type of change.”
It is understood that the team has contacted belt supplier OMP to further investigate the issue which has accounted for Piquet’s last two races.
Jaguar’s Technical chief Phil Charles told e-racing365 last week that over 100 simulations had been undertaken on the belt procedure after the initial issue in Rome.
The team suspects that a movement from the driver is catching the buckle of the safety device and uncoupling the harness.