DS Virgin to revert to single motor

FIA Formula E Season 3 Testing - Day Two. Donington Park Racecourse, Derby, United Kingdom. Photo: Alastair Staley / LAT / FE. ref: Digital Image 580A8244

DS Virgin Racing will use a single motor in their 2016-17 challenger after ditching their twin-motor powertrain from last season.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan said that the motor was just one of several new pieces on the car.

“It’s a single motor, yes. We designed a brand new car: new gearbox, new motor, new MGU, everything is new,” Mestelan said.

“So for us, it’s a little bit more difficult compared to other teams, who have just adapted their cars from last year. Because we started from scratch, we have more to do to prepare than other teams.”

Despite having impressive one lap pace last season, DS Virgin tended to drop behind their title rivals Renault e.dams and Abt Audi Schaeffler on race pace.

This was what led to the redesign, with DS saying that the original decision to go with a twin motor came from Virgin, after they arrived with not enough time before the start of the second season to make the call.

“It’s very difficult to reduce the gap in one year, but if we change everything, it’s because we understand better the technology, we understand more how to increase efficiency of the car, how to manage energy during the race.”

“When we designed the car last year, we had only just arrived in the series, we didn’t spend enough time to prepare it. Virgin made the choice of technology for season two.”

“For season three we spent the time we needed to make all the simulations, to understand what we need to do on the car, so we had more time.”

Mestelan also confirmed to Motorsport.com that Sam Bird will have former Renault e.dams engineer Remi Decorzent working on his car this season, after his previous race enginner, Patrick Coorey, moved to Jaguar.