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DS Team Orders Considered for Title Deciders

DS Techeetah could employ team orders in quest for back-to-back drivers titles…

Photo: Formula E

DS Techeetah says it’s “open” to implementing specific rules of engagement between its two drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer in the fight for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship title.

Vergne holds a 44-point advantage over fourth-placed Lotterer with a possible 58 to play ahead of this weekends’ double-header season finale.

Vergne’s nearest title rival is Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi, who is 32 points behind reigning champion Vergne.

DS Techeetah team principal Mark Preston says that the team does not have a “set procedure” for any team orders in the races but that some could be employed this weekend.

“We will have to wait and see what the parameters come down to in the last two races but we are in a position to make calls on options as we please,” Preston told e-racing365.

“Statistically so many drivers can still win it, so if you start detailing the permutations you might tie yourself in knots and cause issues.

“I don’t think it will happen like it did last year (where Vergne won the title with a race to spare) but like I say Formula E is mighty unpredictable.

“We don’t have a set procedure for the races unlike in qualifying where the drivers and their engineers will talk to each other about when best to hit the track, etc.

“In the races, apart from hitting each other, which they managed to do without serious issues in Chile, there are no defined orchestrations as we stand now but we will have to be open to something in New York I guess.”

Lotterer has largely lost any credible title surge in the last two races where firstly an operational problem compromised his qualifying and race in Berlin and then a penalty for going through a red light in the Bern pit lane ensured another non-score.

Speaking to e-racing365 before the Bern round last month where the deficit to Vergne was just 16 points, Lotterer expects some team orders to come in to play.

“First of all, we need to be in that situation and there is still a lot of things can happen,” Lotterer said.

“But, if we are in that situation then we will find a way to handle it. It depends you know, how we play it.

“For sure we want to have a fight, but this can be sometimes involve risks. Let’s see when we get there what we plan and how we address this but when it is sensible to do so then I am sure we will look at it.”

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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