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    Peugeot open to Maserati System E driver double-duty for WEC squad

    Replicating Jean-Eric Vergne’s twin function in FE with DS Vehicles, one other model within the Stellantis group, and Peugeot within the WEC is one chance being explored by the French producer because it seems to fill the emptiness within the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar line-up created by Kevin Magnussen’s return to System 1.

    Jean-Marc Finot, motorsport boss of the Stellantis group, stated: “For Maserati we’re considering of drivers we’ll get subsequent yr; it might be potential to have one driver making two championships.

    “It might be [a possibility], wait and see.”

    Lengthy-time Venturi driver Edoardo Mortara is wanting more likely to stay with Venturi on its link-up with Maserati for FE’s Gen3 period initially of the 2022-23 season, however is known to not have signed a deal as but.

    The way forward for three-time Le Mans 24 Hours podium finisher Lucas di Grassi, who joined Venturi for this season after Audi’s departure as a manufacturing facility from FE, is much less clear.

    Vergne seems set to take care of a relationship with DS stretching again to the marque’s first involvement as an FE powertrain provider in 2015-16 with Virgin Racing on its still-to-be-confirmed change to Dragon/Penske for subsequent season.

    Ought to Stoffel Vandoorne be part of him at Dragon/Penske from Mercedes, as appears doubtless, the Belgian is not going to be thought of for the Peugeot seat.

    Finot dominated out two drivers from one FE workforce beneath the Stellantis umbrella becoming a member of the Peugeot WEC squad.

    “It’s already a really robust timetable for JEV [Vergne] to be in each programmes; it wouldn’t be affordable to have two drivers in each programmes,” he defined.

    Finot admitted disappointment at Magnussen’s determination to rejoin Haas forward of the season-opening F1 race in Bahrain, describing it “a loss for us”.

    He revealed that Peugeot is already in discussions with drivers about taking the sixth seat in Peugeot’s two-car squad of 9X8s alongside Vergne, Paul di Resta, Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen.

    Peugeot 9x8

    Peugeot 9×8

    Picture by: Peugeot Sport

    Peugeot has promoted James Rossiter from his take a look at, reserve and simulator function on the 9X8 programme to a race seat for the automobile’s debut within the WEC at Monza in July and appears more likely to stay a part of the line-up for no less than the Fuji spherical in September.

    Finot stated that the promotion of Rossiter to a race seat confirmed that the producer was “ready for a case like this” and steered that the Briton “might make all of the races this yr”.

    Requested whether or not Rossiter might stay as a part of the race line-up subsequent yr, Finot replied: “Every part is feasible.”

    Rossiter has thrown his hat within the ring for a full-time drive.

    “I’m very grateful for this chance and wish to take advantage of it,” Rossiter informed Autosport.

    “It’s as much as me to get on the market and present what I’m able to, be quick and constant and do the job I do know I’m able to.”

    Rossiter added that his involvement with the 9X8 programme, in addition to his wider function with Stellantis as sporting director at DS Techeetah, has “reignited my ardour” for racing.

    “I haven’t been racing since 2019 [his last year competing in Japan with the Impul Nissan Super GT squad], however I’m doing extra driving than ever,” he defined.

    “I did the primary laps within the simulator within the 9X8, the primary run within the automobile on the proving floor after which the primary laps at a correct observe.

    “I’m actually motivated to be a part of the programme and would like to proceed racing the 9X8 subsequent yr.”

    He steered his sporting function with the DS model in FE wouldn’t preclude him changing into a full-time Peugeot driver.

    Peugeot has but to outline the motive force combos for the 9X8’s debut at Monza on 10 July and subsequent WEC appearances this yr at Fuji after which the season-finale in Bahrain in November.

    The names of the six drivers have been organized in teams of three on both aspect of the 9X8 on the launch of the automobile on the Algarve circuit close to Portimao final week, however Finot stated this was “purely random”.

    “Everybody needed to be within the picture, however nothing is set for the crews,” he defined.

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