The Downton FV team have announced a somewhat surprise tie-in with French car manufacturer Citroen's DS brand. The announcement comes as the team begin their second season using their own engines, while also supplying fellow teams Liverpool and Ocelot.
Downton have previously stressed they wanted no outside assistance on their engine, yet in the announcement today it would appear that was somewhat of a white lie, as DS have been involved ever since the start of the 2014 season.
"We're delighted to finally announce our tie-in with Citroen through their DS brand. While this was touted by a few journalists before now, both parties wished to keep the deal under wraps until the right time, which we decided was now," said team principal Bradley Downton in a statement.
"We have been working with DS since the beginning of 2014, and weren't hugely subtle about it, if you pay attention to the names of our engines, but weren't desperate to make it public knowledge. If I'm honest Citroen and DS wanted to keep it hush in case it all went wrong, but a strong season prompted them to come forward."
"We still build the engine completely, but we have assistance from experienced DS engineers, who also help tune it. As of next season we will also be running with DS branding, which will give a re-invigorated look to the car that I'm very excited about."
Another thing of note to come out of the press conference was the extension of the contract with the Liverpool V-Prix Racing team to supply engines until the end of 2021, despite the current contract being just one race old. Meanwhile the contract with Ocelot is believed to be for this season only with the option to extend, which Downton are keen to do, though there has been no word from Ocelot.
It is currently unknown as to whether either Liverpool or Ocelot were aware of the involvement of the DS brand, although the Liverpool team is heavily linked with French companies through team principal Arthur Lapierre, and rumours suggest Liverpool had a hand in the deal, especially as the team search for new sponsors and DS are rumoured to want more than an engine deal.