|Début||2016 Hong Kong ePrix|
|Key People||Mark Preston|
|Driver(s)||Jean-Éric Vergne (No. 25)|
António Félix da Costa (No. 13)
|Car||DS E-Tense FE20|
|Last Season||1st (222 pt(s))|
|First Win||2017 Montreal ePrix II|
|Entrant||DS Techeetah Formula E Team|
|Jean-Éric Vergne||António Félix da Costa|
|8th (31 Pt(s))||1st (67 Pt(s))|
|1st (98 Pt(s))|
The Techeetah Formula E Team, known simply as Techeetah, are a Chinese racing team, who will compete in the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship as the defending Teams Champions. Owned by Chinese investment firm China Media Capital, Techeetah used quartet of Renault Z.E. 16s for their FE bow in 2016/17, having bought out Team Aguri near the end of the 2015/16 season.
After claiming a single victory at the 2017 Montreal ePrix II, Techeetah would retain lead driver Jean-Éric Vergne for 2017/18. They would sign André Lotterer to partner him for season four, creating quite a stir given the German's relationship with Porsche, before re-signing with Renault to use their powertrains again.
Vergne would ultimately secure the Drivers' Championship with Techeetah in 2017/18, with the Frenchman also ensuring that the team finished second in the Teams' Championship. This led to a partnership with DS Automobiles for 2018/19, with the team entry officially renamed to DS Techeetah, while Vergne and Lotterer were retained as drivers.
2018/19 proved to be Techeetah's strongest season, with Vergne claiming his second straight driver's Championship, while he and Lotterer secured the Teams' Championship for the Chinese squad at the 2019 New York City E-Prix. Their partnership with DS was hence renewed for the 2019/20 season, while Lotterer left the team to join Porsche with António Félix da Costa signed as his replacement.
Techeetah are a brand new effort in the world of motorsport, although the majority of their staff are from the old Team Aguri effort and so do have motorsport experience.
Formula E History
After getting into financial difficulties at the end of the 2015/16 season, Aguri Suzuki decided to sell his Formula E team, with Chinese Media Capital, re-branding themselves as SECA, taking over the team ahead of the season finale in London. As part of the deal, Ma Qing Hua would race for the final three races of the season, before getting a seat in the newly formed Techeetah team. Aguri team principal Mark Preston would also be retain along with most of his staff, while SECA spent big to secure a deal with Renault for powertrains.
The team received their quartet of Renault Z.E. 16s at the start of the 2016 Donington Test, with the first day proving to be the first time that they would run the cars in any form. Furthermore, they would only be a Renault customer team, with the French manufacturer only helping them to get the cars up and running, leaving the team to get the best out of them. Yet, with new lead driver Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel, the Techeetah team looked set to at least match the factory efforts, with the Frenchman putting his car in-between Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost at the top of the testing time sheets.
The season opener in Hong Kong went very badly for Techeetah, as Ma suffered terminal damage on the first lap, while Vergne went out prematurely with an overheated battery. The following Marrakech ePrix went better, with Vergne claiming their first points finish in eighth, while Ma survived a hectic race down in fifteenth. Things then got even better at the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix, with Vergne cruising home to second place in the race, while Ma also made it to the chequered flag, albeit down in sixteenth.
Shortly before the Mexico City ePrix in early April, Techeetah confirmed the capture of ex-F1 racer Esteban Gutiérrez, who would replace Ma in the #33 pair of cars. The Mexican racer had previously announced his plans to join a Formula E team, and, with the backing of Carlos Slim, a deal was struck that saw Gutiérrez take over the second pair of Techeetah-Renaults. Ma would remain with the team as their third/reserve driver, while Gutiérrez made his FE bow at his home race.
Techeetah would renew their deal with Renault for the 2017/18 season, while also securing the signature of ex-Porsche WEC racer André Lotterer to partner Vergne. After a strong pre-season test in Valencia, Vergne would finish the season opener in second, having also claimed pole position. Vergne went on to secure fourth in the second race of the Hong Kong weekend, while Lotterer's FE debut saw him earn a disqualification and a thirteenth place.
A quiet afternoon in Marrakech followed, before James Rossiter and Frédéric Makowiecki got the chance to drive the Techeetah quartet in the 2018 Rookie Test. Vergne and Lotterer would then return for the 2018 Santiago E-Prix, with the pair engaging in a no-holds-barred fight for victory during the latter part of the race. Fortunately for Techeetah both drivers managed to make the finish, with Vergne claiming victory from Lotterer as Techeetah became the first team to claim a one-two in Formula E history.
Another quiet weekend followed in Mexico City, before Vergne claimed his second victory of the season in 2018 Punta del Este E-Prix to move into the lead of the Championship. A third victory of the season would follow at Vergne's home race in Paris, with the Frenchman fending off Lucas di Grassi and title rival Sam Bird to claim the win. A third place followed in Berlin for Vergne, before Lotterer finally bested his teammate by claiming fourth and fastest lap in Zürich. Vergne, for his part, would finish tenth having been destined to finish ahead of title rival Bird, before the Frenchman was one of a number of drivers to be slapped for speeding during a Full Course Yellow.
Regardless, Vergne would head into the penultimate race of the season in New York knowing that he would win the Championship if he finished ahead of Bird. The Frenchman duly did so, despite the fact that himself and teammate Lotterer would start from the back of the field after being disqualified from qualifying due to excessive power use. Ultimately fifth at the penultimate race, with Bird in ninth, saw Vergne crowned Champion with a race to spare, while Techeetah themselves headed into the final race with a shot at taking the Teams' Championship.
A strong qualifying result in the final race of 2017/18 would see Lotterer and Vergne start ahead of the two Audi Sport ABT Schaefflers, with just five points separating the teams at the start of the race. Yet, their hopes of the Championship were dashed fractions of a second before the start, for Lotterer misjudged his getaway and duly got punished for jumping the start. That left teammate Vergne to take victory from Audi's di Grassi and Daniel Abt, with Lotterer's ninth place finish ultimately seeing Techeetah fall two points shy of Audi's 264 point haul.
With Renault withdrawing from FE at the end of the fourth season, Techeetah were forced to look elsewhere for a powertrain supplier for the 2018/19 season. Most speculation settled on Techeetah becoming a factory team, partnering with DS after the French manufacturer hired Techeetah drivers Vergne and Lotterer to test their season five powertrain before its homologation. Ultimately, the rumours proved to be true, with DS Techeetah officially registered as an entry for the 2018/19 campaign in July 2018, with Lotterer and Vergne retained as drivers.
Techeetah started the 2018/19 season in strong form, with Vergne battling to the lead of the season opening 2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix, only for a drive-through penalty for using too much re-gen putting him back down the field. The Frenchman duly battled back to claim second, with a last corner lunge at António Félix da Costa just failing to get the Frenchman back ahead, while Lotterer secured fastest lap in fifth. Vergne adopted a similarly aggressive approach to the Marrakech E-Prix, although his lunge for the lead at the start only resulted in him spinning down the field after contact with Sam Bird.
Vergne duly recovered to claim fifth in Marrakech, before embarking on a three race pointless run between Santiago and Hong Kong. Lotterer, meanwhile, would manage to claim a fifth place finish in Mexico City and was set to win the Hong Kong E-Prix, only for contact with Bird on the final lap to leave the Techeetah with a shredded rear-right tyre. Yet, the pair would bounce back brilliantly at the 2019 Sanya E-Prix two weeks later, with Vergne sweeping to victory with fastest lap, while Lotterer secured fourth after a race long battle to get onto the podium.
Lotterer was the stronger Techeetah driver at the following round in Rome, the German having claimed his maiden FE pole position, only to be beaten to victory by Mitch Evans in the closing stages of the race. Another narrow defeat for Lotterer followed in Paris, this time courtesy of Robin Frijns, while Vergne secured sixth in his home race. Yet, their roles would be reversed at the following round in Monte Carlo, as Vergne swept to victory with Lotterer down in seventh, both surviving race long assaults from drivers behind them.
A mixed Berlin E-Prix saw Lotterer start from the back of the field and ferociously fight through the order, only to retire courtesy of a battery failure, while Vergne fought his way onto the podium from ninth. The Frenchman would follow that up with victory at the 2019 Swiss E-Prix to claim a daunting lead in the Drivers Championship, surviving a late rain shower and assault from title rival Evans, while Lotterer was slapped with a time penalty for ignoring a red light in the pitlane. Vergne would hence head to the season finale in New York City with a 32 point lead, with 58 on offer across the two races. Techeetah themselves, meanwhile, held a 43 point advantage over Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, with a maximum 94 points left for the Teams to fight over.
Indeed, Vergne's Championship lead was so great that he survived an awful New York City E-Prix I and still retained a 20 point advantage. An eventful race saw the two Techeetahs make contact early on, leaving both with damage, although Vergne would battle his way back into the points only to be taken out on the final lap as a result of contact with Felipe Massa. A less aggressive approach to the season ending 2019 New York City E-Prix II saw Vergne stalk his way up the order, with seventh place enough for him to retain the Drivers' Championship as rivals di Grassi and Evans crashed out.
Furthermore, that seventh place at the finale from Vergne was enough to secure a maiden Teams Championship for DS Techeetah, putting them nineteen points clear of Audi on 222 points.
Portuguese Promotions?: 2019/20
Shortly after the 2018/19 finale DS Techeetah would be rocked by the news that Lotterer would be leaving the squad, taking a seat at the new Porsche Formula E Team for the 2019/20 season. The French-Chinese squad hence opted to sign former BMW World Endurance Championship racer António Félix da Costa to partner Vergne for the season, a deal officially announced on the eve of the 2019 Valencia Test. The Portuguese ace duly impressed in the Test, his first time driving the new-for-2019/20 DS E-Tense FE20, setting the fourth fastest time overall.
Formula E Record
The tables below show Techeetah's full record in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Formula E Entries
The table below gives an overview of Techeetah's entries in Formula E:
|Techeetah's overall Formula E Record|
|Season||Official name||No.||Drivers||DC Pos.||DC Pts.||Car||TC Pos.||TC Pts.|
|2016/17||Techeetah||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||5th||117||Renault Z.E. 16||5th||156|
|33||Ma Qing Hua||25th||0|
|2017/18||Techeetah||18||André Lotterer||8th||64||Renault Z.E. 17||2nd||262|
|2018/19||DS Techeetah||18||André Lotterer||8th||86||DS E-Tense FE 19||1st||222|
|2019/20||DS Techeetah||13||António Félix da Costa||DS E-Tense FE20|
Listed below are the full career results of Techeetah:
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 'Full Formula E team names revealed ahead of season opener', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/09/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/september/full-team-names-revealed-ahead-of-season-opener, (Accessed 10/09/2019)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'SECA SECURE FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRY: JEAN-ERIC VERGNE AND MA QING HUA CONFIRMED AS DRIVERS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/seca-secure-fia-formula-e-championship-entry/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- ↑ 'Vergne victorious, Di Grassi wins title', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/vergne-victorious-di-grassi-wins-title/, (Accessed 30/07/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Lotterer and Vergne complete TECHEETAH line-up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/lotterer-and-vergne-complete-techeetah-line-up/, (Accessed 26/09/2017)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 'Techeetah partners with DS for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/techeetah-partners-with-ds-for-season-5/, (Accessed 23/07/2018)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Alex Kalinauckas, 'Da Costa to partner Vergne at DS Techeetah', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 17/09/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/da-costa-techeetah-vergne-2020/4542866/, (Accessed 17/09/2019)
- ↑ 'Team Aguri confirm takeover ahead of Visa London ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/june/team-aguri-confirm-takeover-ahead-of-visa-london-eprix/, (Accessed 02/07/2016)
- ↑ 'SECA SECURE FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRY: JEAN-ERIC VERGNE AND MA QING HUA CONFIRMED AS DRIVERS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/seca-secure-fia-formula-e-championship-entry/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Scott Mitchell, 'New Formula E outfit Techeetah to run Renault powertrain', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 24/08/2016), http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/125834, (Accessed 11/09/2016)
- ↑ 'Buemi holds on in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/10/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/october/buemi-holds-on-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 09/10/2016)
- ↑ 'Buemi magnificent in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/11/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/november/buemi-magnificent-in-marrakesh/, (Accessed 12/11/2016)
- ↑ 'Buemi becomes hat-trick hero in Buenos Aires', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/february/buemi-becomes-hat-trick-hero-in-buenos-aires/, (Accessed 19/02/2017)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 'Esteban Gutierrez joins TECHEETAH Formula E Team', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/03/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/esteban-gutierrez-joins-techeetah-formula-e-team/, (Accessed 20/03/2017)
- ↑ 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
- ↑ 'Many happy returns: Abt sails to victory in Hong Kong harbour', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/many-happy-returns-abt-sails-to-victory-in-hong-kong-harbour/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- ↑ 'Rossiter and Mako to test for TECHEETAH', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/rossiter-and-mako-to-test-for-techeetah/, (Accessed 19/12/2017)
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
- ↑ 'JEV holds off di Grassi in battle for Punta del Este', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/jev-holds-off-di-grassi-in-battle-for-punta-del-este/, (Accessed 17/03/2018)
- ↑ 'Fairytale ending for home race hero Vergne in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/fairytale-ending-for-home-race-hero-vergne-in-paris/, (Accessed 29/04/2018)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 'Di Grassi clinches first season victory in historic Swiss race', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/di-grassi-clinches-first-season-victory-in-historic-swiss-race/, (Accessed 11/06/2018)
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Sam Smith, 'Vergne, Lotterer to Test DS Performance Gen 2 Car', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 25/05/2018), http://e-racing365.com/formula-e/vergne-lotterer-to-test-ds-performance-gen-2-car/, (Accessed 26/05/2018)
- ↑ von Tobias Bluhm. 'Exklusiv: Andre Lotterer bestätigt Techeetah-Vertrag für 5. Formel-E-Saison', e-formel.de, (e-Formel, 02/05/2018), https://e-formel.de/news/formel-e-lotterer-bestaetigt-techeetah-vertrag-fuer-saison-5-3514.html, (Accessed 07/05/2018)
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 'Race Report: Da Costa - 'We did it baby, we're back!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2018), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/december/race-report-saudi, (Accessed 15/12/2018)
- ↑ 'Mahindra's d'Ambrosio made up with manic win in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report---2019-marrakesh, (Accessed 12/01/2019)
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Jake Kilshaw, 'Mortara, Venturi Set for First Win as Bird Penalized', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media LLC., 10/03/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/mortara-venturi-set-for-first-win-as-bird-penalized/, (Accessed 10/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Vergne victorious in Sanya showdown, championship blown wide open', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-sanya-2019, (Accessed 23/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Emotional maiden win for Evans in Rome, Lotterer second', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-rome-2019, (Accessed 13/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Frijns emerges victorious in frantic French E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-paris-2019, (Accessed 27/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Vergne masters Monaco while Massa claims maiden Formula E podium ', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-monaco-2019, (Accessed 12/05/2019)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi victorious in the battle for Berlin, home race victory for Audi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-berlin-2019, (Accessed 25/05/2019)
- ↑ 'Vergne victorious in frantic battle for Bern ahead of Championship finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/06/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/june/race-report-bern-2019, (Accessed 23/06/2019)
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 'Buemi wins in New York but disaster for Champ Vergne extends title challenge', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2019, (Accessed 14/07/2019)
- ↑ 'Lotterer leaves DS Techeetah to complete Porsche driver line up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 17/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/lotterer-moves-to-porsche, (Accessed 17/07/2019)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Sam Smith, 'Formula E: Guenther Sets Fastest Lap of Valencia Testing', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 18/10/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/guenther-sets-fastest-lap-of-valencia-testing/, (Accessed 22/10/2019)
- ↑ Alex Kalinauckas, 'Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne's Techeetah contract extended', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 14/12/2018), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/140671/vergne-techeetah-fe-contract-extended, (Accessed 08/06/2019)