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Neel Jani and Dragon Split After Two Races

Neel Jani has left the Dragon Racing team with immediate effect after just two races….

Neel Jani has left the Dragon Racing Formula E team with immediate effect after just two races.

Jani will be replaced at Dragon for the next round of the FIA Formula E Championship after he and team boss Jay Penske agreed to part ways over the Christmas break.

“The team and I have decided that it is better for the future of both parties if we end the cooperation,” Jani is quoted as saying in the Swiss national daily Bieler Tagblatt.

Porsche factory driver Jani joined the American team in September, and was initially set to have support from the German manufacturer’s engineers during the campaign.

However, this failed to materialize on the eve of the Hong Kong E-Prix in December, and Jani finished his first two races with a pair of dejected 18th place finishes.

E-racing365 broke the news in November that a technical tie-up between Dragon and Porsche had hit the buffers, and that Dragon boss Penske was looking at relocating his squad to California.

Last month Jani vented his frustration to e-racing365 after a difficult debut in Hong Kong, citing a lack of pace on the straights and difficulty under braking, particularly in the first sector.

“It’s [the first sector] the start/finish straight, one hairpin, and middle of the next straight” Jani said.

“We lose generally four-tenths on the straight, always. That’s like me going in the Porsche [919 Hybrid] at Sector 1 at Spa, and I go and compare it to the Rebellion [LMP2 car]. That’s the difference.”

Dragon has made changes to some of its personnel since Season Three, with Faraday Future engineers leaving the team after its title partnership program ceased.

Jani’s engineer Andy Brown, who joined the team in the summer, did not travel to Hong Kong, and former Team Aguri technician Joao Correia stepped in at short notice.

Jani’s departure from Dragon is yet to be officially confirmed by the team. However, official confirmation of the split is expected to be communicated imminently.

The cessation of Jani’s Formula E program leaves the Porsche-contracted driver with his Rebellion Racing LMP1 duties as his only confirmed program for 2018.

One replacement option for Dragon at next week’s Marrakesh E-Prix could be Mike Conway, who raced for the team briefly in Season Three when he deputised for Loic Duval at the Paris E-Prix.

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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