Dillmann returns to Formula E in Jaguar sim and reserve role

The Jaguar Racing Formula E team has announced 2016 Formula V8 3.5 champion Tom Dillmann as its simulator and reserve driver for the 2021 season alongside Sacha Fenestraz.

Based in Barcelona, Dillmann has been working with the squad since the start of the campaign to provide support in the simulator for car set-up before and during a race weekend and is on standby to fly to races should Sam Bird or Mitch Evans be ruled out.

With 23 Formula E race starts split across the Venturi and then NIO teams, scoring a best result of fourth in the 2019 New York E-Prix, Dillmann is ineligible to take part in future rookie tests - with Fenestraz and Jamie Chadwick running for Jaguar in the most recent 2020 Marrakech session.

But Dillmann, 32, who worked in a similar capacity for two-time teams’ champion DS Techeetah last season, can drive the I-Type 5 at Jaguar's preferred private testing venue at Abingdon airfield.

Asked to compare the Jaguar Racing simulator to his experience of Venturi and NIO, Dillmann told Motorsport.com: “It's a step up, but I think Formula E as a whole has been stepping up every year.

“When I was racing with Venturi and then NIO, we didn't really have someone on our team dedicated to race support and a dedicated sim driver.”

The one-time GP2 Series race winner is in line for a quiet 2021 on the front-line.

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Announced alongside World Touring Car driver Esteban Guerrieri as test and development driver for the ByKolles Le Mans Hypercar programme, the German outfit has opted to miss this season of the World Endurance Championship as it prepares a car to potentially race next year.

Dillmann added that he was still vying for a full-time drive in Formula E but that a 2018-19 season for NIO in which he achieved a best result of 12th had hurt his momentum in the championship.

He told Motorsport.com: “After Venturi, I was let's say on an uptrend and then I got a seat with NIO for the full season.

“Unfortunately, that was a really hard season with a very uncompetitive car, so it put a big handbrake to that uptrend.

“It's difficult to go back in and get the race seat again.

“Of course, to still be involved in Formula E and stay up to date and still be around is important.

“My goal is still to race in Formula E. It's been difficult after NIO but I don't give up.”

Dillmann was in the frame for a seat at NIO 333 again in 2021 but lost out in a private shootout to Tom Blomqvist.

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