DS TECHEETAH to switch to DS E-TENSE FE21 at the Rome E-Prix

DS TECHEETAH Formula E team, partnered by Acronis, has launched another striking new livery for the title defence of its team and driver titles at an online event.

The Chinese-owned team has been the dominant force in the world’s premier electric racing series over the past three seasons, Antonio Felix da Costa making it a hat-trick of drivers’ titles in Berlin.

It was also revealed that DS TECHEETAH will continue with its Season 6 title winning DS E-Tense FE20 package for the recently revealed opening two rounds of Season 7 in Santiago and Diriyah, before switching to the new spec DS E-TENSE FE21 powertrain in April.

“As a result of the health crisis, Formula E amended its regulations and instead of homologating a new car ahead of the season start, we’ve been given the opportunity to extend the homologation until the end of the 2021 World Championship,” commented Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director.

Because of the COVID-19 epidemic pushing back the introduction of the Gen2 EVO and the Gen 3 even further, teams have been allowed the option of bringing in an all-new powertrain for the next two seasons, sticking with the current or changing in April.

“We’ve chosen to take a new approach given this opportunity and we have developed two cars simultaneously. Given the tremendous results from Season Six and the DS E-TENSE FE20, we will start Season Seven with an upgraded version of the championship winning car and introduce the DS E-TENSE FE21 at the Rome E-Prix. Season Seven is a new challenge for us but our objectives remain the same – fighting for victories and titles.”

Fellow Acronis partner team NIO 333 has opted for the bold approach of an all-new powertrain, having developed and tested extensively over the past few months. Mercedes and Mahindra have opted likewise.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the partners who have been with us along the way and extend a warm welcome to the partners who have joined us for the coming season. Our partners play a pivotal role in our team, both technically and financially, and our partnerships are based on the mutual goal of continuous evolution and a will to be the best in what we do,” commented Mark Preston, DS TECHEETAH Team Principal.

“That winning mentality is key for us as it echoes everything that we do, and it lives within our partners, suppliers, team and beyond. That is what we are taking with us into Season Seven and we are feeling very well equipped and strengthen by their involvement.”

Season 7 will be the first season that Formula E becomes an FIA approved World Championship in its own right, and defending champion Antonio Felix da Costa is determined to keep a grip on a title that he won in his first season with the team.

“To have won my first Formula E title has given me so much more fire to win another one,” commented Da Costa. “JEV and I, and all the other Formula E drivers who do give us a good run for our money, are going to have some epic battles this season, that’s for sure and I can’t wait. We are going for that first World Championship title and we’ll do everything in our power to get there.

“I’ve always said that cars that look quick, are quick – and just look at the livery for this year. You wouldn’t want to see that in your wing mirrors! I really can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve been working on, it won’t be in Valencia but do keep an eye out in Santiago. We’ll be going for it!”

It won’t be an easy mission for Da Costa, however, with double Formula E champion and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne determined to land what would be an incredible hat-trick of titles.

“Since I joined DS TECHEETAH four years ago, I’ve seen first-hand how this the team always continues to improve itself,” added Vergne. “Our Season Six results proved our competitiveness, and I am extremely excited to show what we’ve got in store for Season Seven. We always aim to keep improving and re-inventing ourselves, our approach and most importantly our long-term vision. The team did an incredible job and I look forward to testing again in Valencia ahead of the season opener next January in Santiago.”

Next up for DS TECHEETAH is the official Formula E test in Valencia, Spain, on 28 November to 1 December before the cars are being shipped to Santiago, Chile, for the first race of the 2021 season, which will commence on 16 January 2021.

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.