Exclusive: Aguri to retain S1 powertrain in S2

Current E Buenos Aires 100115 Mark Preston congratulates Antonio Felix da Costa

Amlin Aguri team boss Mark Preston has confirmed to Current E that the team will stick with the existing powertrain package next season.

“This is where it starts to get controversial,” Preston told Current E ahead of the London race. “We’re going to stay with the current car. Because the battery is not changing (it’s going to be refreshed), that means that we’ve only got the same amount of power in the race and therefore there is no real difference in the race mode. And the gearbox is fine.”

Referring to the fact that more power will be available for season two, Preston said: “There’s 170kW that we can use, but the calculation says that if you can only just do the race at 150kW, then you’re not going to be able to suddenly do the whole race at 170kW. You’re going to have to mix and match. At McLaren myself and Peter actually carried over one of the cars one year and came second in the championship by one point from Ferrari, so we know it’s possible.”

Preston believes that tweaks to power maps will enable the team to retain a competitive edge: “The software is open, so we’re allowed to change that. There are a lot ideas that we’ll come up with and the software will have a bigger effect on making things easier for the drivers. At the moment we haven’t got into it in super depth – there’s a few different ways of calculating energy usages and mapping.”

Another point in the favour of the blue-liveried team is that the chassis remains the same next year. “Nothing much else is going to change on the cars,” he explained. “The front suspension is going to stay the same, the interior of the cockpit is the same and the aero isn’t changing, so there’s not going to be a huge difference.”

Development for season two powertrains seems to have been a very truncated affair, with constructors only announced earlier this year. Preston thinks this might actually give his outfit an advantage: “We still think it’s a fairly big risk for a lot of people what they’re trying to achieve, because there wasn’t much time to prepare once the rules finally became stable a few month ago. I think we’ll be able to carry straight over into summer testing.”

As for drivers, the team is keen to try out some new people. This could be related to their star driver, Antonio Felix da Costa, stating recently that DTM retains priority over Formula E.

“We’re going to try some other drivers who want to try the cars, so we’re currently talking to a few drivers to give them that opportunity at the tests at the end of July,” said Preston. “And then in August we’ll obviously be joining everyone else at the test in Donington.”

When asked about the rumours that Amlin will be withdrawing their sponsorship, Preston said: “We have a contract with them, and we are honouring our contract and continuing on as normal. No change.”

Tom Spencer

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