Jaguar Racing sign former Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Junior
After a tough opening season for Jaguar in Formula E, it seems the team is confident that a turnaround in fortunes is just around the corner. Along with launching a new car design badged as the 'I-Type 2', the driver lineup has been altered considerably.
Kiwi Mitch Evans is the lone survivor of the Panasonic Jaguar team, with Adam Carroll making way for Ho-Ping Tung - a former Le Mans winner and test driver for Williams and Renault F1. With Formula E shifting strategy towards a three man team, the biggest development for Jag has been the acquisition of Nelson Piquet Junior, the winner of the first Formula E Championship back in 2014/15.
Jaguar has also made a massive leap forward for its own PR by striking a deal with Formula E to introduce a one-make road car racing series. Using race-spec Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy cars, the stripped out and aero-heavy electric cars are not only a clever way of showcasing the new SUV but also harks back to the BMW ProCar Series of the 1980s as a support series.
In terms of the new car, the I-Type 2 has supposedly focussed on weight reduction and distribution, with the obvious aim being to keep the vehicle's mass as low as possible. The new powertrains for next season can also be tinkered with to maximise efficiency, with Jaguar being able to pick gear ratios to balance acceleration and top speed.
There's no getting away from the fact that Jaguar Racing finished bottom of the 2016/17 Championship. Then again, it was the team's first season in Formula E so we'll need to wait and see just how much of an impact the car development and driver changes will have on the team's fortunes.
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