A letter from Mark Preston, DS Techeetah team principal
Dear DS TECHEETAH Colleagues,
I have been sitting here on the banks of the East River, near the scene of our triumph contemplating life… And I can tell you that life, right now, is really, really good. Thinking about the past nine months or so, the memories we have created, not only for ourselves but the wider motorsport audience around the world have been something that I think we can all be very proud of!
Over the years (many, as I have been in the business a long time), I have had a rule of thumb for driver performance that dates back from the very beginning of my career in motorsports at Spectrum Formula Fords which I ran with Michael Borland straight after university in Australia. To prove he/she is at the top of the game, they need to enter a series and show they are at the top of their game in season 1, and then dominate in the following season.
Now, this applies to any category and you can easily see this example repeated with many of the world’s top drivers from Lewis Hamilton, through both Rosbergs, Sebastian Vettel and now our very own Jean-Eric Vergne...
Over the course of time and experience, a few of my Formula 1 friends added another element to this rule when we won the FIA Formula E Drivers’ title with JEV last year in Season 4. To prove real longevity, and to prove that the team is also not a flash in the pan, you have to win a second championship, whether it be another Drivers’ or even a Constructors’/Teams’ title. And it needs to be done in short order, either the following year or the one after that!
Now, these aren’t just any Formula 1 colleagues, they are ones that have won multiple World Championships, both Drivers’ and Constructors’. And so I am very proud of what we have achieved with this team in only 2 short years by winning not only another Drivers’ Championship with JEV but also moving from runners up in Season 4 to Constructors’ Champions in Season 5!
The third element of the rule is the level of the competition. And I don’t think many people can now step to that level; in fact now I even have an extra, cheeky, level for my old colleagues. Win in within the first 2 seasons you enter a championship, do it at least twice, and against some of the highest level competition in the world of motorsports…
I don’t remember there being another series in the history of racing with such a level of drivers and constructors/teams. We now have 10 major automotive manufacturers in the series, with only Virgin running a customer operation courtesy of Audi and who provided us with close competition right down to the wire! In fact, if that was the other extra element, we actually won in our second season as a customer team to boot.
Seriously, this is what has made the last three seasons with our team the most proud for me; starting as a new entry, winning our first race as a customer team in our first season, following that with an FIA Formula E Drivers’ Championship (oh, and missing the Teams’ title by just 2 points), then following that with the double titles in the third season up against the most competitive grid and determined teams in motorsports history, now as a full works team in our third season with DS Automobiles.
So hats off to our incredible team of people at DS TECHEETAH, from our incredible drivers JEV, and Andre Lotterer who we are all sad to see go, but thank him for all his incredible support over the last two seasons, through to all the engineers who worked tirelessly in preparing everything in the background, to the mechanics who spent many sleepless nights rebuilding cars and preparing us for battle every time, delivering some of the highest reliability in the series. Also to all the support staff in marketing, partnerships, and administration departments, active behind the scenes who so often get left out of the praise and accolades; without them we couldn’t make it all work!
And finally it has been important in our growth as a team to now partner with DS Automobiles as a full “works” team in order to face the increasing competition in the series. Thank you everyone and onto Season 6 where we face even more competitors with the arrival of Mercedes and Porsche…