Formula E

DS looks back on worst Formula E season in own history: "Clear goal to get back to the top"

Timo Pape

Timo Pape

With regards to the standings, DS Penske's 2023 Formula E season doesn't look as negative as it felt. A win in Hyderabad by Jean-Eric Vergne, a pole position by Stoffel Vandoorne in Sao Paulo and 5th place in the team championship - ahead sister company Maserati. Nevertheless, the new Gen3 alliance with Penske produced a low point in the brand's own Formula E history, but this may be mainly due to DS. DS performance boss Eugenio Franzetti takes stock.

Two teams' title, two drivers' championships: DS looks back on a successful past in Formula E - together with the team Techeetah. However, before the 2023 season, at the start of the Gen3 era, the French teamed up with the US team Penske and had to face a setback in the first Gen3 year.

The fifth place in the standings was the worst result for DS since its own Formula E entry in the second season (2015/16). Even as DS Virgin Racing in the Gen1 era, DS was never placed worse than fourth. However, the obvious assumption that new team partner Penske is responsible for the drop in the standings cannot be confirmed.

More likely, DS has obviously not developed the strongest powertrain in the field. The two Jaguar and Porsche teams were ahead of the team in the overall standings. DS Penske was thus third, still "Best of the Rest" and ended up 23 points ahead of its own sister team Maserati MSG Racing with identical hardware. And the Monaco-based team was runner-up in the 2022 World Championship after all.

Franzetti: "An encouraging result"

"An encouraging result in view of the strong competitors," says Eugenio Franzetti, director of DS Performance. DS built the third best of six different powertrains and was more successful than Nissan, Nio 333 and Mahindra. The brand's aspirations are higher, though: "Our clear goal is to improve our performance and get back to the top."

Franzetti describes the past season as a "rollercoaster of emotions": "Sometimes there were very positive emotions, like the victory in Hyderabad, the podium finishes in Cape Town and Berlin and the pole position in Sao Paulo. But we also went through phases of negative emotions." DS Penske also ended the season with such a phase, as Jean-Eric Vergne crisply analysed after the London E-Prix.

"We will use all this experience as a basis for our preparations for season 10," Franzetti announces. "As early as September we will start our preparations for season 10. We will capitalise on the positives and work in a focused way to improve the negatives."

DS Penske has a lot of work to do if the manufacturer team wants to be a real threat to Jaguar and Porsche. That's because this year's powertrain will still be used in the second Gen3 year. Whether the team will be closer in 2023 will become clear from the season opener on 13 January in Mexico City.

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