Porsche is using this week’s Formula E pre-season test in Valencia to introduce factory engineers into the Dragon Racing team ahead of the start of the season in Hong Kong, e-racing365 can reveal.
Several senior engineers from the German manufacturer were guests of Dragon Racing on the opening day of the test on Monday, and will remain with the team for the duration of the week.
Porsche announced last July that it will enter in to the FIA Formula E Championship as a full factory effort in 2019, at the start of the sixth season.
E-racing365 understands that an announcement is imminent on an official engineering partnership between Dragon and Porsche, whereby engineers from the manufacturer are integrated into the team for Season Four and possibly into Season Five, which gets underway in 2018/19.
Dragon Racing representatives would not be drawn on the plans in Valencia today, but it is believed that several engineers are already working closely with the team, primarily on getting a technical, logistical and operational handle on the specifics of how Formula E works.
E-racing365 also believes that a potential unofficial Porsche B Team deal could be in the offering for an existing team in the future, but at present the plans for engineers to be utilized at Dragon are centered around new driver Neel Jani and will remain low key.
When asked last month, Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl admitted they have begun analyzing projections for 2019/20, specifically to staffing numbers.
“It depends a lot on the constellation of the teams because there are some privateer teams already that work with a lot of suppliers who have hundreds of people in place,” Siedl said.
“We’ve started reading in to all this stuff now but first we need to finish [the FIA WEC] season and get a clear picture on what is Formula E.
“Then we will put the structure in place to make sure we are ready at the end of 2019.
“This was the good thing about making the decision to enter at the end of 2019 so we have enough time to set it up properly.”
Porsche-contracted driver Jani joined Dragon last month, but the deal was done independently from his Porsche commitments, according to Siedl.
“This is something that Neel did with Dragon Racing,” he said. “We allowed our drivers quite early that they could go for Formula E drives in addition to what they still do with us.”
Fellow Porsche LMP1 driver Andre Lotterer, meanwhile, will drive for Techeetah this coming season.
John Dagys contributed to this report