Nelson Piquet Jr. believes that racing for a full factory team will boost his chances of taking a second Formula E title, as he enters a new phase in his career with the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team.
Piquet, who tested publicly at Valencia for the first time earlier this month, said the streamlined in-house approach Jaguar adopts will be more beneficial for success in the future.
The Brazilian, who has previously raced for the NIO team in Formula E, chose to leave the Chinese outfit in the summer. He now thinks that a more efficient cohesion will pay dividends as he aims to re-kindle the success he achieved in Season One.
“I think the major thing is that everything is done in-house here,” Piquet told e-racing365.
“With half, or maybe even more of the teams, everything is outsourced, from the gearbox to converter, the software is done somewhere else in a different company, different country. It’s very hard to put everything together and package it well.
“I don’t think that we’re the fastest ones out there but the rate of improvement and the ability to fix problems is much better because everything is done in-house.”
Piquet draws upon a recent example that a full factory effort has benefits that are not always seen from the outside.
“We had a slight issue in a test with one of our parts,” he said. “If I had it in my team last year, it would have taken probably at least two weeks to fix it. [Here] it was fixed over the space of two days.
“We went back to the factory, fixed it quickly and found a solution. Put the parts back on and everything was OK. That’s one of the main differences in running with a team that does everything in-house.”
Despite joining a new outfit, Piquet found himself reunited with several staff members he knows from his past programs in GP2 and Formula One.
E-racing365 revealed in September that Phil Charles joined Jaguar Racing as technical manager, while Paul Davison, who worked with Piquet previously in GP2, has also come on board from the Williams F1 team and will engineer Piquet.
“Phil worked in F1 for a while and we kept a good friendship in the years afterwards and it’s good to have him back,” said Piquet.
“Obviously, he has no experience in Formula E, but with good engineers it’s like with good drivers, they’ll get adapted to anything.”
Piquet: Evans Will “Push Me”
The 32-year-old also believes that Jaguar’s driver lineup is a good mixture of experience and youth.
Mitch Evans impressed last season, scoring the majority of the team’s points and claiming a fourth place finish at the Mexico City E-Prix in March.
“I come with more experience being here [in Formula E] so much longer and being older than [Mitch],” said Piquet.
“He’s very quick, so it’s a good combination because he’s going to push me for speed and I’m going to guide him a little bit on what we need to focus on, how to make the car better and quicker.”
When it comes to the likely pecking order for Season Four, Piquet remained reserved after the Valencia test.
“We’re always racing to win,” he said. “Realistically, it doesn’t happen often [that teams] coming up from where we were last year start to win races.
“If we want to be realistic and down to earth, I’d say that scoring points every weekend would be good, podiums would be amazing.
“In Season One all the packages were the same but also nobody knew any of the tracks, nobody knew the tires, nobody knew anything.
“I’m sure that there’s a lot of smart teams out there who figured out how to use the tires better, setup the car or improve strategy in the races.
“There’s a bunch of little things that a lot of teams have picked up that maybe the other ones haven’t, so even if the cars would be the same, I’d say that because of all the experience the better teams would have a bit of an advantage.”