NextEV TCR will retain its twin-motor powertrain design for the next Formula E season, despite running far adrift of the championship front runners for most of season two, all of whom have chosen a single motor set-up.
Nelson Piquet clinched the inaugural Formula E title in London last summer with the team but has been limited to just one points finish so far this season; he’s currently P15 in the drivers’ standings (ahead of the Paris race). Team mate Oliver Turvey has fared slightly better, picking up 10 points in the opening six races.
Despite perhaps being expected to follow the leaders and revert to a single motor powertrain (used by all teams except NextEV TCR and DS Virgin Racing) team co-president Martin Leach confirmed to Current E in Paris that the twin-motor design would return for season three.
Asked if he believed it was the better powertrain solution, Leach said: “Yes, we do. The matrix of possibilities is significant. You’ve got quite a difference between qualifying and the race. You’re now seeing of course the races are longer as well, as well as increasing the power available from the motors. Of course we’re seeing more energy saving techniques. Putting a matrix of race possibilities with a matrix of technical possibilities gives you a very large number of potential solutions. I think it’s still early to say if one approach is actually better than another. I think we’re finding our way and that’s in a sense part of a reason for this series, helping people improve their technology.”
Leach also confirmed that the car had passed its crash test, and that the new car will be making its on-track debut before the Berlin race on May 21.
NextEV TCR will also be looking to retain both Piquet and Turvey for season three; Leach is confident that both will stick around. “I’m very happy with our driver line-up,” he said. “Maybe there’s another pairing that you could argue is comparable, but I wouldn’t swap our two drivers for any other pairing along the pit lane to be quite honest. Nelson’s contracted and Oliver, yeah, we definitely want to keep him. I think there’s an agreement there, we just don’t have a piece of paper with a signature on it that says it’s a done deal. That’s the only thing missing, the intention is there for both parties.”
Paris qualifying has upset the established order seen in the first half of season two, with DSVR claiming two spots in the top five, and NextEV managing to get both cars into the top 10.