The fourth season of the Formula E it's off to a very encouraging start for the team DS Virgin Racing, who is fighting for the first places in the Constructors' Championship and has won with the English Sam bird two of the nine competitions contested (the first Hong Kong E-Prix and the Rome E-Prix). Thanks to those triumphs and other good results Bird is second in the tournament led by the French Jean-Eric Vergne.
After the ninth event of the year, the Berlin E-Prix, Thomas chevaucher, Technical Manager of DS Performance, analyzed the future of the team this season and was particularly interested in anticipating details of the technological advance that the appearance of the single-seaters that will compete in the next campaign in the electric category supposes. A technology that, after being severely tested on the slopes, is turned over to the range of DS Automobiles for the benefit of its exclusive clients.
-How did you get to the current level of the team?
-At the beginning of the third season (2016-2017) we achieved a significant evolution of our car. However, since the development was very recent, it took us some time to be able to use the car consistently and fully exploit its potential. In general, we had a good performance at the beginning of the championship, but we also had some problems averaging the season that cost us points. Then we improved a lot and finished very well positioned, with a win in New York. We went through the third season very happy with the performance of the car, the drivers and the team.
-What objectives did you set?
-Our strategy for the current season, the fourth, was not to develop a new car, but to optimize the machine we used in the previous championship. This was the strategy from the beginning: we developed a completely new car for season three and tried to improve it step by step for season four. We made a lot of small improvements rather than major modifications. Our goal for this season was to perform well from the start. Our rivals made great developments, while we needed a little more time to optimize the use of the familiar car.
-Are you satisfied with the results so far?
-Since the beginning of this season we have a very competitive car, we saw it already with the victories of Sam and with the evolution of Alex Lynn. With only three competitions to go, we are fighting the Constructors 'championship, where we are in third place and Bird is the guard in the Drivers' tournament. The balance of the championship is very good and the best in our history, so we are very happy.
-How do you find the category in this new season?
-The category does not stop developing and the future regulation, with the new cars, brings with it the application of renewed technologies and the massive arrival of new and powerful competitors. DS Performance has already started rolling the fifth season single-carrier and we're expecting a lot from the DS E-TENSE FE-19. The first improvement and the most visible difference on a technical level is the new battery, which improves the performance of the car since it is possible to accumulate twice the energy there.
-What will change in the races?
-A lot of. Next season we will be able to complete the races with just one car. There will be no more car changes in the middle of the competition. Another major difference that is not so obvious to the public is powertrain technology, which is a huge step up. Its power increases to 250 Kw, its weight will be reduced by more than 30%, and it will be much more efficient. In the end, all these developments are what justify our participation in Formula E. Being able to help the brand and the company to develop new technologies. It is not a minor fact that DS Automobiles will assume a more leading level in the fifth season that begins at the end of 2018 since the team will cease to be the DS Virgin Racing company to be exclusive to DS Automobiles. New car, more autonomy as a team… we expect excellent results.
-Is the bet on electrical technology total?
-We want to continue in Formula E to continue promoting electrical technology, since these developments are very important for the brand and sooner rather than later they will reach the products displayed in the DS Store. A single piece of information serves to magnify the bet: From the DS 7 CROSSBACK, 100% of the DS models will be electrified and, soon, we will unveil the first 100% electric DS at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. From 2025 each new model DS will only be offered in an electrified version (either hybrid or 100% electric).