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Vergne: Predicting Favorites a “Waste of Time”

Jean-Eric Vergne says it isn’t yet possible to predict favorites for the upcoming season…

Photo: Formula E

Reigning ABB FIA Formula E Champion Jean-Eric Vergne has discounted a theory that DS Techeetah is among the favorites for the coming season.

The team with which he has competed for the past two seasons has joined forces with the DS Automobiles brand to become a factory entry in Season Five after running customer Renault powertrains in Vergne’s title-winning campaign.

Many Formula E observers and team personnel have told e-racing365 to expect the French-Chinese team to be a favorite in the upcoming season, along with Virgin Racing and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

However, Vergne says the fact that some manufacturers, including DS Techeetah and Audi, have tested in isolation so far means that any predicted hierarchy is “a waste of time”.

“I don’t understand people saying these kinds of things already because no-one knows where we are. It is nonsense really,” he told e-racing365.

“No can say where anyone is on pace and it is a waste of time because it is impossible to predict because we have not tested together with other teams much.”

Vergne has emphasized the need for Techeetah and DS Performance to gel together quickly in order to maximize its attack in order for him to retain his title.

The first time the DS and Techeetah engineers worked together at a track was the week after July’s season-ending New York City Prix.

“We just need to make sure that we are all working together well and that we continue to be a strong team,” he said.

“Look at Audi and ABT last year. They took the time to get it right after they came together properly, so it is vital we or on it from the very start of the season.”

Vergne Fears New Car Tactical Contact Threat

Vergne also believes that deliberate and tactical contact by drivers could be more of an issue in the upcoming season, owing to the more exposed front and rear bodywork sections on the Gen 2 cars.

There is, therefore, a fear that races can be more easily compromized by contact than before.

“I just really hope some drivers will not play around but some drivers like to try and make contact to try and break the car,” said Vergne.

“It is a little game by some people and I understand the game but I hope this won’t happen.”

“Everyone knows who the drivers are that try this and I find it funny in a way but I hope it doesn’t happen too much.”

The Frenchman would also like to see some circuits lengthened, as a result of the new-look cars and the expansion of the grid to 22 cars with the arrival of HWA.

“I think some of the circuits will have to increase their size because we have two more cars and I think tracks like Hong Kong and Paris will have to be increased,” he said.

“It is not as if there isn’t room from the streets because there is a lot, so I think it can be done and really should be done soon.”

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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