BMW i Andretti Motorsport team principal Roger Griffiths believes that DS Techeetah will be hard to beat in Marrakesh if it repeats the pace it showed in last month’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship opener.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer were running 1-2 in Ad-Diriyah when they were both penalized for exceeding the 200kW power limit under regeneration after a software glitch caused a power spike.
Subsequent penalties enabled BMW’s Antonio Felix da Costa to retake the lead and win the first race of the Gen 2 era, however both DS Techeetah drivers set fastest laps half a second quicker than da Costa during their recovery through the field.
“They were very, very strong,” Griffiths told e-racing365.
“I think if they had not got the penalties then it would have been a different result obviously.
“It was quite impressive that Vergne was able to pass people in areas of the track you wouldn’t perhaps normally overtake on.”
Griffiths admitted that the DS E-Tense FE 19’s braking capabilities, along with the speed carried by Vergne to execute his overtaking moves, were ‘a worry’.
DS has completely redeveloped its own brake-by-wire system, utilizing updated aspects of technology it initially ran in Citroen’s World Rally Championship program during the previous decade.
“They seem very proud of it and rightly so, that’s the difference at the moment and it was a bit of a worry,” said Griffiths.
“I think that JEV did look very strong but Lotterer looks as capable, so two very strong guys are going to be hard to beat if they maintain that pace on different tracks.”
Griffiths, who worked closely with Vergne at Andretti in the first season of Formula E, added that the reigning champion was complimentary about BMW’s debut win in Saudi Arabia.
“I have a lot of time for JEV,” he said.
“He seemed genuinely super happy that we won and if he was going to be beaten by somebody then it was best it was us.”