Piquet Gets Williams F1 Engineer at Jaguar For Formula E
Nelson Piquet Jr’s engineering set-up at the Jaguar Formula E team will include Williams Formula 1 performance engineer Paul Davison.
Jaguar has signed Piquet to partner Mitch Evans for the 2017/18 season and made two significant staffing additions as well.
Piquet will be reunited with his GP2 race engineer Davison, who went on to be Jules Bianchi’s race engineer at Marussia and then served as a performance engineer at Williams.
Davison joins as Piquet’s performance engineer, while Phil Charles – Piquet’s race engineer at the Renault F1 team – has been named Jaguar’s racing technical manager.
“It’s not only very good [appointments], it’s people I trust as well,” said Piquet when asked by Autosport about the significance of those staffing additions. “Paul, I got him very young in GP2 back in 2005/2006. He had left school not long before and he started his amazing F1 career not long after.”
“A lot of people in the industry really respect him, it’s good to see he went such a long way and did very well.”
“Phil was my engineer in Formula 1 – he’s another guy I trust a lot as well. I’m in an environment where we have a very good chance of moving forward because of all the people we have together with us. It’s people I trust, that I know are going to be doing their best, people I have known over 10 years. That’s a very positive thing for me.”
Team director James Barclay stressed the team structure was undergoing “evolution not a revolution”.
Outgoing driver Adam Carroll’s race engineer Patrick Coorey continues in his role for Piquet, while Evans retains Josep Roca and Phil Ingram as his race/performance engineers respectively. Battery guru Selin Tur also reprises her role as Jaguar’s head of powertrain.
Asked by Motorsport.com to explain what Charles and Davison would add to the team, Barclay said recent F1 experience was crucial, citing specific examples like working with control tires.
“Operationally Phil’s role will be leading both teams’ approach to the weekend,” he said. “It is a really important part of the restructure of the technical team. The teams can concur and find something that works on one car and apply it to the other – Phil’s role is about coordinating that group.”
“With his experience ratifying the direction of the decisions will be important, and his recent experience around race strategy will be a big part of it. From a performance engineering point of view [Davison’s role] is understanding the latest tools and approaches to the sport. It’s helping the driver go quick – from a car or driver point of view, optimising the tyres and the technology.
“[He and Piquet] have worked together, which is great, that dynamic and trust is really important.”