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Race Management Plans “Reinforced” by DS Techeetah

DS Techeetah boss Mark Preston expects intra-team management to be vital this season…

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DS Techeetah team principal Mark Preston says that the incident between BMW drivers Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa has reinforced his own team’s management plans for similar situations.

Preston, who presided over Techeetah’s dramatic 1-2 finish in Santiago last season which also saw contact between both drivers, says that his team is prepared for any future issues.

On that occasion, Andre Lotterer hit the back of Jean-Eric Vergne’s car while they ran first and second but the episode was exacerbated by an IT failure in the pits which blanked out race feed and timing screens.

“We have plans and we have had them since Santiago last year when we lost comms and JEV thought he was going one lap longer,” Preston told e-racing365.

“We discuss everything together as a team what scenarios might come out, for this season you could say we have reinforced some aspects because of the format changes, et cetera.

“In this series it is highly likely that you get circumstances like we had in Marrakesh where JEV comes past Andre with attack mode on, so you have to be sharp.”

Preston cast doubt on whether Techeetah would allow itself to get into the position in which BMW i Andretti Motorsport found itself in Morocco.

“I don’t think the scenario we saw for BMW, when the car behind was slightly quicker and just in generally better shape, will happen that often though,” said Preston.

“It will be logical when it happens if we need to manage things and there is a big difference in pace but I hope we don’t get in to that situation.

“If there was a situation where one was clearly quicker than the other then it is just logical to swap places where possible.

“The parameters of this series are that it becomes obvious when drivers need to let a teammate go.

“The difficulty is if you are in a situation where you leave it too long and the others catch you which appears to have happened to the BMW guys.”

Preston admitted that specific team orders are not part of the team’s strategy plans at the moment but that tension may build between its drivers if its pace advantage plays out to a title battle.

“It is always a balance between what is best for the team and the drivers’ own aspirations,” said Preston.

“Naturally we want to try and achieve both but facts are there is only one drivers’ champion.

“We don’t have traditional team orders. You saw in New York that Andre supported JEV during the weekend. Nearer the end of the championship it should be reasonably obvious how things ae going to be.

“However, if one of them is winning the championship and the other is close then that is a whole different story. That’s when you have some really hard calls to possibly make.”

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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