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De La Rosa: Techeetah Benefiting from “Important” DS Partnership

Pedro de la Rosa says new-look DS Techeetah will be a formidable proposition in 2018-19…

Photo: DS Techeetah

Pedro de la Rosa says Techeetah’s new partnership with DS Automobiles is making a “massive difference” behind the scenes as the team prepares to defend its ABB FIA Formula E Championship drivers’ title.

The DS Techeetah sporting and technical advisor told e-racing365 that additional resources now available to the Chinese squad will accelerate the development of its DS E-Tense FE. 19 car.

Techeetah formed a partnership with French constructor DS after winning the Season Four drivers’ crown with Jean-Eric Vergne as a Renault customer operation.

It has retained both Vergne and three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer as its drivers for the new campaign, which gets underway in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 15.

“We’re working with such a strong OEM, we have to be close to them [DS],” De la Rosa told e-racing365.

“The first decision that was taken was that we have to be under the same roof with them. It makes a massive difference, taking decisions on development and general efficiency of the team.

“They [DS] have a great simulator, great laboratories where we can work together on many areas that we hadn’t explore before because we were a private team.

“This gives us the opportunity to develop the car a lot quicker.”

The former McLaren, Arrows and Jaguar F1 driver also thinks that the introduction of the Gen 2 car has made it difficult to identify a teams’ hierarchy going into Season Five.

“This is a new partnership, we’re extremely excited,” he said.

“I think it’s very important for us, coming from a private team. It allows us to do a lot more things that we weren’t able to because of the regulations.

“However, we know that it’s a challenge as well and we’re not sure how competitive we will be because it’s a new generation of car.”

Formula E “The Right Place to Be” Now

De la Rosa admitted that he was initially skeptical about the all-electric formula before he began his role with Techeetah earlier this year.

However, the Spaniard said the fact he now spends the majority of his professional life in Formula E rather than F1 demonstrates how the former is beginning to come of age.

“When Formula E started, I didn’t want to join. I thought it’s not going to develop but now I want to come to Formula E,” he said.

“This also sends a message. I had been a Formula 1 guy all my life and now I believe that the right place to be is Formula E because it’s growing, and manufacturers are coming in.

“It is extremely interesting to see how it’s changing and will change. This is what I like about Formula E. I love the fact that drivers can make a difference as well.

“The racing is extremely close and there is no clear dominating driver.”

Piotr Magdziarz contributed to this report.

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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    December 2, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Yeah, F1 is coming of age the same way that we don’t have steam cars racing anymore. In 20 years time almost all motorsport event will have switched to EV power. With solid-state battery at the corner, in 2 decades electric cars will have up to 600 miles range – more than any petrol powered car offered today in the market, and will fully charge in less than 20 minutes. By the time petrol powered cars won’t offer any advantages as they will be more expensive to produce – engines do have more than 10x the number of parts than an electric motors, less refined, less connected – autonomous systems do work better when integrated with digital/electronic systems than hydraulic or mechanic ones, and even gasoline won’t be cheaper anymore – as oil companies reduce or scale down their size to adjust to the decreasing demand, more expensive to produce and to sell the product gasoline will become.
    If F1 keep its current path, they risk to be irrelevant by then.

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