Speaking at the recent Formula E test in Valencia, Preston explained how significant a difference partnering with a manufacturer would make to the team, and drew comparisons to his time working in Formula 1 for likes of McLaren and Arrows.
“We’ve probably doubled the amount of resource we had,” Preston told eRacing Magazine.
“People probably don’t realise that as a customer team, we couldn’t do any actual rig testing, we never got to test dampers or test in a wind tunnel. We never got to test any of the things that are normal in motor racing.
“So, the obvious positives are that we’re now able to do all those things.”
After two years as a Renault customer team, Techeetah announced a ‘long-term partnership’ with DS in July, reuniting the French manufacturer with Parisian Jean-Eric Vergne who had driven DS-powered machinery during his time with the Virgin team two seasons ago.
Preston explains that the tie-up with DS has added many of the elements the team lacked in recent seasons compared to its rivals and likened the difference to ‘being inside an F1 team’.
“The team is embedded inside of DS workshops, so we make gains by being part of the DS working infrastructure. For example, if you have to do something in the carbon shop, we can go and use [the DS carbon shop], so it feels a bit like being inside an F1 team where you have more access to more departments,” Preston said.
“I think we had all the right pieces of the puzzle last year. We had a great powertrain, great drivers, good resources, good people. We had all the pieces of the package that you require in motor racing.
“I think we’ve added another element to that package this year by having a closer relationship with an OEM, which means that we bring all the things we were missing last year.”
Despite seeing Vergne secure the Formula E drivers’ title with a win in New York, Techeetah ended the season being beaten to the teams’ title by a resurgent Audi. Preston, however, says his new-look team ‘feel more prepared’ this time around despite the increased competition he’s seen from rival teams.
“You can tell in the pit lane that the level’s coming up a lot, and you can feel the pressure coming in on everybody. So can we repeat it again? I suppose we’ll have to see, but we feel like we’re more prepared,” he said.
“We’ve got more tools in our toolbox now having manufacturer backing, so we certainly hope to be up there.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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