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Preston: Vergne’s Title Bid Forged by Consistency and Luck

Mark Preston says consistency and some fortune have enabled Techeetah’s title bid…

Photo: Techeetah

A combination of preparation, consistency and good luck have aided Techeetah’s double title bid this season, according to Team Principal Mark Preston.

The Chinese team, only in its second season of competition in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, has come from a rank outsider to title contender with a customer package and could take both drivers’ and teams’ titles at this weekend’s final in New York City.

Jean-Eric Vergne enjoys a 23-point margin over only rival Sam Bird while Techeetah leads Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler by 33 points.

Preston acknowledged some good fortune but also believes that Vergne has benefited from a tighter preparation ethic from the team.

“We certainly have had our luck this season, yes, that spin in qualifying Hong Kong [where Vergne took pole backwards] was unbelievable, the craziest pole position I have ever seen,” Preston told e-racing365.

“We also had the luck go the right way in a few places like Punta del Este but it seemed to have gone the other way at Zurich so you weigh it up and it balances somehow.

“On the whole though we have deserved the success because we have worked bloody hard on procedures and operational stuff.

“You don’t get the luck and consistency going your way completely by chance. If you do the basics and then work on improving every race then you control some of the uncontrollable in a way.”

Preston admitted that he has been surprised that Techeetah has opened up such a gap to the opposition and managed to hold onto most of it throughout the season.

“Back at Valencia in testing we all thought the Audis would be really up at the front all of the time,” he said.
“It is one of these strange things that shows that you have to be consistent to win titles and this is what JEV has done.

“Even in the early races when we knew we weren’t quite quick enough, so in Hong Kong he just took points and has done so over the whole season.”

The close battle with DS Virgin Racing has foundation in both teams maximizing their resources successfully this season, believes Preston.

Techeetah is set to replace Virgin as French automaker DS Performance’s partner team next season.

“I wouldn’t really have expected that we would be up there and it is only down to Sam [Bird] and JEV now who have both been consistently great this season,” he said.

“I have a lot of respect for Sam and DS Virgin because what they have done with their package is not dissimilar to us. They have maximized every little aspect and focused on preparation and reliability and not throwing any points away.”

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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