The Dragon Penske Autosport team has made a late decision not to introduce its new Formula E powertrain for this weekend’s Rome E-Prix.
The American team had planned to race the new hardware this weekend having conducted several test days since the last round in Diriyah, but has elected to stay with the Penske EV-4 cars that scored a rare double points finish in Saudi Arabia with Sergio Sette Camara taking fourth place and Nico Mueller fifth.
Both drivers have run the new Penske EV-5 machines in private testing recently but it is believed that the improved form of the old car swung the decision to stick with it until development on the new package evolved further.
This means the Jay Penske owned team has a different reason for not running the cars in Rome to the Nissan e.dams squad – which decided it would delay using its new powertrain due to issues regarding the supply chain of some of its components because of ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic.
Champion team DS Techeetah is therefore the only one of the three teams originally scheduled to bring new powertrains to Rome that will now do so, with the debut of its DS E-TENSE FE21 confirmed.
The Race understands that DPA will take a race-by-race approach to its decision over when to introduce the already homologated Penske EV-5 but in theory it could use the EV-4 package for the duration of the current season.
This means it is likely to also race at Valencia in a fortnight with the existing hardware as it proved to be quick at the pre-season testing sessions at the venue last November when Sette Camara recorded the second fastest time of the three-day test.
The Race understands that DPA has recently signed up to stay in Formula E as manufacturer into the Gen3 era and attended Tuesday’s technical working group meeting.
DPA recently confirmed a technical partnership with Bosch, which will work with the team on creating its first Gen3 car for the end of 2022. This will be done in conjunction with DPA’s own in-house technical, led by chief technical officer Nicolas Maduit.
The previous Penske cars have used a network of suppliers that included the Integral Powertrain company which recently partnered with NIO333, and Mike Gascoyne’s MGI consultancy company.
Prior to that Dragon also had links with EV start-up Faraday Future during the 2016/17 season, while a mooted link-up with Porsche didn’t get beyond initial talks and some engineering support at the 2017 pre-season Valencia test.