October 5, 2017 – Valencia, Spain
Introducing its new driver line up for season four with André Lotterer joining the already confirmed Jean-Éric Vergne, the team has secured a very strong driver line up for its second season in the FIA Formula E championship.
Lotterer was put through the paces of set up on day one, followed by a full race simulation on day two and some further fine tuning on day three, as he made his Formula E debut at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
With Lotterer focusing on getting to know his cars, Vergne’s side of the garage focused on optimising the Renault Z.E 17 powertrain that the team has run for the first time this week. As the only private customer team in the championship, it is the lone team not granted any other testing days than the three official FIA Formula E testing days in Valencia this week.
Jean-Éric Vergne ended the final test day in third position in both sessions just behind Oliver Turvey and Daniel Abt in the morning session and Jerome d’Ambrosio and Lucas Di Grassi in the afternoon.
The team has until mid-November to ensure that all parts are ready before shipping the cars to Hong Kong for the start of season four on 2 and 3 December with a double-header in the iconic Victoria harbour.
Mark Preston, Team Principal
“Securing seven podiums and winning in Montreal is an incredible achievement for a brand-new team in their first season. Although we are aiming for a continued stream of podiums in the coming season, consistency is what will be truly key for us. Our drivers are both on multi-year contracts and the goal is to grow into a solid team together this year to really excel in the coming seasons.
“FIA Formula E has always been a really competitive championship but this season we will see a whole new level in driver quality and team performance with the gap between likely to become even more narrow.
“Although you get an indication from testing, we won’t see the true colours until race one in Hong Kong as the testing track in Valencia is not necessarily representative of a Formula E track. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed that a lot of teams have taken a step forward in terms of development and pace. It will be very interesting to see who is going to come out on top in Hong Kong.
“Considering that Formula E is known to be one of the most technically challenging motorsport categories, André has done a stellar job in getting used to his cars and putting in some solid lap times. He has gelled very well with the team this week and we are extremely happy to have him on board. In partnering André together with Jean-Éric, we have secured an incredibly strong driver line up this year and we cannot wait to go racing.”
Jean-Éric Vergne (#25)
“As a customer team, we only get these days in Valencia to test our cars so day one was a complete shakedown not just mechanically but also technically. There is a lot of fine tuning to be done as it’s the first time we get to run the Renault package so these days are very important and we’ve made some good progress. We will now head back to base and debrief, look at the data and prepare the best we can for Hong Kong.
“It’s really good to have André in the team, having two drivers that are on the same pace and can fight upfront is only a positive. We will be able to push each other to perform at the max of our capabilities. We get along really well and I’m really looking forward to fighting at the top together with him.”
André Lotterer (#18)
“We’ve been working through the spectrum of a race weekend and we’ve run through various set ups so that I could experience all aspects of the car before my first race in Hong Kong. The Formula E car is very unique and exciting to drive.
“I found the cornering and pace relatively quickly already on day one. We knew that the biggest challenge for me would be to get on top of the narrow operating window of the brakes and tyres so that is something we focused on throughout the testing week. Getting these three days in the car has been invaluable to give ourselves the best chance to have a good first race.
“It’s always complicated being new to any championship as there is lot to learn, specially a very technically challenging one like FIA Formula E series, but so far I have relished in the challenge and everything has gone well both operationally and on the track. I am super excited about the season and I can’t wait to get on track in Hong Kong.”