Lotterer in the points for Porsche for the fifth time this season

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has continued the 2019/20 season with another top-ten result. At the seventh race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Berlin, André Lotterer crossed the line in ninth place in the #36 Porsche 99X Electric.

Berlin E-Prix (Round 7)

After finishing second on the previous day, it was the fifth time this season that the 38-year-old (DE) has scored points in the drivers’ and team standings. His team-mate Neel Jani (CH) finished 15th in the #18 Porsche 99X Electric.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Lotterer is now in eighth position with 45 points. Having accumulated the same number of points after the first of three ‘double-headers’ at Berlin-Tempelhof, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is also eighth in the overall standings.

The qualifying

Having reached Super Pole three times in a row, Lotterer missed out this time around. In the second start group, he recorded a time of 1:07.285 minutes to secure 12th place. Jani qualified in 20th position with a time of 1:07.640 minutes, but gained one grid position due to a penalty imposed on another driver.

The race

As had been the case in qualifying, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team drivers were confronted with grip conditions during the race that differed significantly from those on Wednesday. The early phase proceeded without any major events. Lotterer completed the first lap in 13th, while Jani remained in 19th place. The Porsche duo had switched to ‘Attack Mode’ when a full-course yellow neutralised the field just before the halfway point meaning that neither driver was able to take full advantage of the additional power. Nonetheless, both Lotterer and Jani continued to improve as the race progressed. The German driver moved into tenth in the final seconds before his second ‘Attack Mode’ expired and then secured ninth with a great overtaking manoeuvre just before the end. Jani worked his way up to 15th place.

Reactions to the Berlin E-Prix

Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “That was a harder day for us. We were a little bit outside the window in qualifying and ended up in the middle of the field. During the race it's hard work then. We are still learning but we managed to score points which is positive.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “I made a mistake in the first sector during qualifying, which meant that I had to start from a long way back. I was able to make up a few places but I struggled a bit with the handling as the race progressed. We will have to take a look at the reasons for that. The good thing is that we still have four races to go.”

André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “I started from 12th and made it into the points. Of course, I would have preferred to have finished a bit higher up. If you look at our pace yesterday, it actually looked promising, but the car just didn't feel quite as good today. However, we were able to gather plenty of data.”

Outlook

After the first ‘double-header’, drivers and team members can now rest and recuperate for a day. The season continues with races eight and nine on Saturday and Sunday. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will be battling for more top results on the regular Formula E circuit in Berlin. The final two races will then take place on a new track layout on 12th and 13th August.

Berlin E-Prix (Round 6)

A successful start to the Formula E season finale at the home race in Berlin saw André Lotterer (DE) secure the second spot on the podium for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team to continue his debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. At the sixth race of the season in Berlin (DE), he crossed the finish line in second place in his #36 Porsche 99X Electric. Lotterer and the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team secured the same position at the season-opener in Diriyah (SA). In the second #18 Porsche 99X Electric, Neel Jani (CH) crossed the line in 13th place, before being moved up to eleventh thanks to a penalty and a disqualification imposed on two other drivers.

The qualifying

Lotterer once again delivered great pace in qualifying. The Mexico City E-Prix pole-setter took to the circuit in the second start group, securing fifth place with a time of 1:07.454 minutes. That translated to Lotterer's third consecutive participation in Super Pole. At one point during the competition for the six fastest drivers, Lotterer posted a best time of 1:07.235 minutes. He fell back to third place but that proved to be a promising starting point for the race. Jani completed his fastest lap in the fourth qualifying group, reaching 18th place in 1:08.014 minutes. The Swiss driver gained one grid position thanks to a penalty imposed on another driver.

The race

Lotterer was able to defend third place at the start and continued to do so throughout the early stage of the race. The safety car appeared on track after an accident at the 15-minute mark. Lotterer remained in third place after the restart, only to fall back a few minutes later as he attempted to activate his ‘Attack Mode’. He managed to reclaim third place around 15 minutes before the end and held on until activating his second ‘Attack Mode’ with eight minutes remaining and falling back to fifth. Lotterer was however able regain ground, making second place his own with another overtaking manoeuvre on the final lap.

Jani remained in 17th place after the start. He gained two places for a while before falling back to 17th position. During the closing stage, he battled his way back up to cross the line in 13th and was classified in eleventh place.

Reactions to the Berlin E-Prix

Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “A fantastic result. We have worked very hard over the past months and we wanted to make a strong reappearance on the racetrack. The result is superb for the entire team. We wanted to record a podium by the end of the season and managed that in the first race. It is fantastic to come back after such a long break and celebrate a podium finish right away. We can all be delighted and proud of what we have achieved. Many thanks to everyone in the team. Now we are looking forward in anticipation to the five races ahead of us.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “I had hoped to make it into the top ten in qualifying, but after the first two corners, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I started the race further back and wanted to make up a few places, which I did manage to do just before the end. All in all, I am pleased with the result and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “I didn’t make a perfect start but I was able to hold my position. The pace was not so good during the first few laps so I was concentrating on defending but then I got into a good rhythm. I made a mistake when I attempted to activate my ‘Attack Mode’. I then had to hold off the cars behind me, and that was no easy task but we stayed calm as a team and were able to get everything back under control. That was also because I had a very good car. The work we put in during the racing break really paid off. It feels fantastic to reach the podium in second place and we should not forget that we are a new team. Today, we showed how strong we can be in the race. That is almost more pleasing than the result itself.”

The outlook

The drivers and teams have hardly any time to relax after the sixth race of the season. The seventh race will take place at the same location, just 24 hours after the Formula E ‘restart’. Once again, drivers will be competing on the reverse layout of the regular Berlin Tempelhof Formula E circuit. They then have a rest day before races eight and nine take place on the regular Formula E circuit, before Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship concludes with another double-header on a new track layout on 12th and 13th August.

The preview: Berlin E-Prix questions and answers

After five months without racing, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team travelled highly motivated to Berlin-Tempelhof (DE), where six races between today and 13th August will decide the outcome of the Team and Driver Championships. There are still plenty of points up for grabs for André Lotterer (DE) and Neel Jani (CH). In the following preview, the two regular drivers in the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team provide exclusive information on their work in the simulator and fascinating insights into the team’s preparations for the season finale. Latest video material can be found attached.

Neel Jani (Porsche works driver, #18)

Neel Jani, Porsche works driver, Formula E, 2020, Porsche AG

How high is the anticipation ahead of the next six Formula E races?

“This is the longest break from racing I have ever had in my motorsport career so far so it is all the nicer to finally be able to focus on our sport again. In Berlin, we have the opportunity to gain more experience and to convert it into results within the very short amount of time we have between races. I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead and can hardly wait to get back in the car.”

What are your expectations of the season finale?

“The season finale is virtually a championship in its own right. This is presumably the first time anyone has ever experienced six races in nine days. That may provide unique opportunities. The championship is still wide open, which obviously makes it all extremely exciting. With just five races to this point, our rookie season has been very short so far. With that in mind, my goals for Berlin are to gain more experience and finish in the points in all the remaining races.”

André Lotterer (Porsche works driver, #36)

André Lotterer, Porsche works driver, Formula E, 2020, Porsche AG

What do the six home races at Berlin-Tempelhof mean to you?

“I am very much looking forward to finally going racing again after such a long break. The fact that we immediately have six home races at Berlin-Tempelhof is great. Like all the other teams, we have some challenging days ahead of us. We are well prepared and have spent a lot of time in the simulator. The three different layouts, in particular, will make the finale special. It is obviously a shame that there cannot be any fans at the circuit in Berlin, but we will do our best to put on an exciting finale.”

What are your goals for the season finale?

“As a team, we obviously want to finish our rookie season as strongly as possible. We have shown, with our second place in the opening race and pole position in Mexico, that the Porsche 99X Electric has the performance to compete at the very front of the field. During the break, we have been able to analyse the data gathered in even greater detail, in order to forge ahead with developments and make systematic improvements. My batteries are recharged, so I can hardly wait to get back in the car. It is about time we returned to the racetrack and showed how much we love motorsport.”

Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E)

Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E, 2020, Porsche AG

What is your assessment of the three layouts?

“The three different configurations will make the finale even more exciting than it was already set to be. The characteristic changes completely between the standard and reverse layout. The third, completely new layout, looks impressive. Respect to the planning and organisation that Formula E and the FIA have done to make a track like this possible! The different characteristics of the circuits have given us plenty of work to do in our preparations. However, we are in good spirits and are totally on track.”

What are the goals for the conclusion to the rookie season?

“The whole team has prepared meticulously for the season finale over the past few months. Therefore, we went to Berlin optimistically. We can hardly wait to be back at the racetrack and focussing on motorsport – even if it is in special conditions. We have proved in previous races that we can challenge for victory in our rookie season. For this reason, the goal is a clear one: the podium. The unique situation means that more than half of the races in this Formula E season will take place in Berlin. That means that anything is possible in the Driver and Team competitions. We will do everything we can to end our first season with a big points haul.”

Everything you need to know about the Berlin E-Prix

The format

As a result of the enforced break in racing, due to the coronavirus crisis, the current Formula E season was suspended for five months. To conclude Season 6, a total of six races will take place, divided into three double-headers (5th/6th August, 8th/9th August and 12th/13th August). The first race day includes two free practice sessions. The first lasts 45 minutes, the second 30 minutes. In qualifying, the drivers will be divided into four groups. In their respective groups, they then have six minutes to set their fastest lap time. The top six from all the groups qualify for the 20-minute Super Pole, which determines who will start the race from the front, second and third rows of the grid. The race lasts 45 minutes plus one lap. The itinerary for race 7, on 6th August, is virtually identical, but with just one 45-minute practice session. The programme for the two following double-headers (8th/9th August and 12th/13th August) is identical to that for the first double-header.

The tracks

The six Formula E races at Berlin-Tempelhof will take place on three different layouts:

Races 6 & 7: opposite direction to last year’s race

Races 8 & 9: regular layout from last season

Races 10 & 11: new layout

Track Layouts, Berlin E-Prix, Formula E, 2020, Porsche AG

The timings

The first and second race of the Berlin E-Prix will be broadcast live on Eurosport 1 from 19:00-20:00 pm CEST. Further broadcast timings will be communicated from Formula E.

Further information on the six races in Berlin-Tempelhof will be published live on the Twitter channel of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team: @PorscheFormulaE. A detailed report will follow after each race.

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Amiel Lindesay: “We achieved all our goals set out last year”

The Berlin E-Prix brought Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 to a close. Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E, was heavily involved in preparing the works team entry into Formula E after Porsche’s commitment was announced. In an interview, the New Zealander takes stock and reviews the highlights of the last months.