DS apply to become powertrain manufacturer


2016/2017 FIA Formula E Championship. Marrakesh ePrix, Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, Marrakesh, Morocco. Saturday 12 November 2016. Jose Maria Lopez (ARG), DS Virgin Racing, Spark-Citroen, Virgin DSV-02. Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image _W2Q7555

The performance branch of the PSA Group which owns Peugeot and Citroen has applied to become a manufacturer for season five of Formula E.

DS Performance have had a partnership with the Virgin Racing team since 2015, but announced that they would be looking to produce their own separate powertrain from 2018/19 onwards.

The group’s Performance Director Xavier Mestelan said the decision was made to allow them to have more autonomy over technical decisions, as Virgin Racing currently have the final say due to them holding the team and manufacturer licence.

Mestelan also said that the decision showed the faith that the team had in the future of the all-electric series.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said, “For season five we have taken the decision to apply to be an official manufacturer in Formula E. We are waiting for the FIA to confirm this, but we expect it soon.

“We want to be a manufacturer for seasons five, six and seven. For us it will be a big difference, because at present we cannot take decisions alone because our partners Virgin Racing take the decisions at present.

“This is important for us because the brand is young and just started two years ago in a sporting way. Becoming a manufacturer also shows our belief in Formula E as a championship and that it will grow more and more.”

In the meantime, the French outfit have begun testing parts of the season four powertrain.

Mestelan did admit that they are planning to spend more time developing their season five powertrain due to the change in technical regulations, but said they were more than capable of working on both programmes concurrently.

“We have already made a test but for us the main target is the next race in Mexico,” Mestelan said.

“Then after that we will run again, but honestly the main challenge is season five.

“We plan to spend more time on season five rather than season four at this point. It is possible for our capabilities to work on both season four and season five at the same time which will be very important.”