André Lotterer (GER) has kicked off the final weekend of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championships in the points at the Berlin E-Prix. At the wheel of his Porsche 99X Electric, he secured 10th place on the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit and earned one point for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Season 7 of the world’s first electric racing series concluded on Sunday with another race on the circuit in Germany’s capital, albeit this time driven in the opposite direction.
Race 14 of the Berlin E-Prix
Last year in Berlin, André Lotterer climbed the podium. This time, he took up the penultimate event of the season from P14. In the race, drivers could only activate a single attack mode and call on additional energy for eight minutes. In sunshine and high summer temperatures, the seasoned specialist was consistently fast and managed to finish in the points. Things did not go so smoothly for his teammate Pascal Wehrlein (GER), who travelled to Berlin with a theoretical chance at claiming the title: Starting from the ninth grid spot, a rival made contact with his Porsche 99X Electric in lap nine which caused a puncture. As a result, he was relegated far down the field and ultimately took the flag in 21st place.
Comments on the Berlin E-Prix, Race 14
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E: “Today wasn’t our day. We’d definitely expected more at our home race. But through no fault of their own, things didn’t go so well for our drivers. A competitor hit the rear of Pascal’s car and he had to pit for a tyre change. Although the crew did a good job and got him back on the track within the same lap, the gap to the top was still too big. André drove a solid race and made up several positions. Unluckily, the safety car was deployed during his attack mode, so he wasn’t able to use a large portion of his extra energy. All in all, that was a difficult day for us. We’ll analyse everything during the night to see what we can improve on for tomorrow.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “That wasn’t an easy race. I got away well at the start but was held up in the traffic a bit. I managed to quickly regain my position and was really pleased with my car. But when the safety car came out on the track, I still had two minutes left in attack mode, and that obviously prevented me from catching the leaders and achieving an even better result. Tomorrow we’ll try to start the race further up the grid. Then a successful end of the season is possible, which the team definitely deserves.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#99): “The race actually started pretty well. My start was good. I was in attack mode when Oliver (Rowland) hit my car and damaged my left rear tyre. As a result, I had to pit and lost almost a lap. I couldn’t do a thing from this position. It’s a shame, but I have to now let that go. I’ll attack again at tomorrow’s final round of the season.”
Race 15 of the Berlin E-Prix
Thanks to a strong qualifying performance, the Porsche drivers secured favourable grid spots for their home race. André Lotterer took up the race from seventh on the 2.355-kilometre racetrack in the German capital, which was driven in the opposite direction on Sunday, with Pascal Wehrlein on 10th. An accident shortly after the start resulted in the cars having to return to the pit lane. When the race restarted after about 20 minutes behind the safety car, the Porsche 99X Electric racers steadily made up one position after the other and settled in among the leading pack.
Over many laps, the two drove in convoy, one directly behind the other. Although, as on Saturday, André Lotterer was unable to utilise a good two minutes of his attack mode to continue overtaking due to a safety car phase, he ultimately secured fourth place thanks to a strong final push shortly before the flag. Pascal Wehrlein gained four positions and crossed the finish line in sixth place.
Comments on the Berlin E-Prix, Race 15
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E: “We narrowly missed out on the Super Pole by five-thousandths of a second. André put in a strong drive. Still, we simply have to do better in qualifying so that we can convert our good racing performance into top results. We’ll keep working on that. The race itself went well. It’s a shame that the safety car came out during Andrè’s second attack mode. This meant he wasn’t able to use all of the additional energy, otherwise, he could’ve gained another two positions. All in all, that was a good conclusion to the season today. We were able to create some positive momentum but at the end of the day we didn’t quite meet our expectations.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “It’s always annoying to miss the podium by such a slim margin. Still, most of the time I was able to drive among the main group and I had to be careful that no one hit my car. My overtaking move at the end was pretty tight but it worked – it’s simply a shame that it was too late to go for the podium. The positive experiences of this season make us optimistic about the future.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#99): “That was a good race. Our car had a decent pace and I could make up several positions. It was a strong result for the team, even though we could’ve probably done better today. It’s a shame that the season is over. We’ve made great progress recently and we’ve regularly finished in the points, especially during the second half of the season. I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG