The preview: Q&A on the Rome E-Prix
Driving the Porsche 99X Electric on the 3.380-kilometre Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR, Pascal Wehrlein (GER/#94) and André Lotterer (GER/#36) plan to build on their strong Mexico performances with the team.
In the overall standings of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Porsche currently ranks third in the title race ahead of the Rome event. Mexico winner Pascal Wehrlein also lies third in the drivers’ standings, followed by André Lotterer in fourth with the same points tally. “If we want to stay in contention for the world championship to the end,” says Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E, “we have to be competitive on all racetracks. That’s our goal.”
Florian Modlinger (Director Factory Motorsport Formula E)
What are your expectations and how are you and the team feeling after the Mexico success as you head to Rome?
“The expectations and goals haven’t changed. We aim to claim victories and podium places. The one-two in Mexico was a sensational result, of course, but the challenges and the competition in Formula E are immense. So we’ll try to use our strengths wisely from race to race and work on our weaknesses. With our team, drivers and car package, I see no reason at this point why we shouldn’t be competitive again in Rome.”
After the exhilaration of winning in Mexico, how did the team use the break in the lead-up to Rome?
“The team used the somewhat longer break to recharge their batteries for the five European races, which will be contested in Rome, Monaco and Berlin over the next five weeks. Moreover, we’re already working on organising the tests for season 9 with the new Gen3 car. I think the team had time to quietly reflect on what they achieved in Mexico and can now travel to Rome full of confidence.”
How do you intend to further improve your good basis in the race for the title?
“In the upcoming races, we’ll try to gradually chip away at the gap to the front with consistently good performances and minimal mistakes.”
André Lotterer (Porsche works driver, #36)
You demonstrated admirable team spirit with your second place in Mexico. How did you feel about the top result for Porsche?
“I was delighted about the one-two result for Porsche. I was part of this project right from the start and, like everyone involved, I invested a lot of time and energy into achieving success. Of course, I’d have preferred to win in Mexico. The potential was there and I was very pleased with my performance, but we chose to work together as a team and that was certainly the right thing to do. The problem for me was in qualifying. Things didn’t go perfectly and so I started behind Pascal. We then won the race as a team, without fighting and without wasting energy. I’m a professional and my priority is to compete for Porsche. I simply have to do better in the next qualifying.”
What do you expect in Rome?
“I have a good feeling because we were fast on this racetrack last year. This city has a great vibe. Driving against this ancient backdrop is a huge privilege for Formula E and for me, it’s a highlight of the season. After our success in Mexico, we’re feeling very motivated. We notice that we’re getting better from race to race and this steady improvement is exactly what we need to keep winning. I’m expecting to do well in Rome. A top-three result would definitely boost our position in the world championship.”
Pascal Wehrlein (Porsche works driver, #99)
How do you feel when you look back on your victory in Mexico and how excited are you about racing again after the long break?
“Those days in Mexico were super exciting. We had a fantastic weekend with pole, my first win for Porsche and the first Formula E victory for Porsche. Now, of course, we want to keep winning races. I feel that we understand our car better and better and we know precisely what we have to do to be able to compete at the top. And, of course, I’m itching to get racing after the long break, especially after doing so well last year in Rome where I scored my first podium with Porsche. We’ll do everything we can on this wonderful racetrack to pick up where we left off in Mexico.”
Two races will be contested in Rome. Do you prefer doubleheader events like this and how do you regard the situation in the bid for the title?
“I definitely prefer two races. The longer I can sit in the car, the better. We’re heading to Rome feeling good, although we can’t take anything for granted just because we won in Mexico. Still, the team is highly motivated and our clear goal is to win – in Rome and at all the other races this season. We currently rank third in the world championship and we’re not far off the leader. If we want to stay in the race for the title, we need to consistently finish in the top group and earn as many points as possible from every race – even if it’s not always enough to win.”
The 3.380-kilometre racetrack in the district of Esposizione Universale di Roma is the second longest in Formula E history. In 2014 and 2015, the Beijing circuit was slightly longer. The course, which leads around the Obelisco di Marconi and behind the iconic Colosseo Quadrato, features 19 corners. “It’s a typical street course with no run-off zones. It’s one of my favourite Formula E tracks,” says Pascal Wehrlein. “It’s quite a rollercoaster with fast passages, slow 90-degree turns and a tight chicane. It’s all pretty demanding and a real challenge in a fabulous city with great fans.”
Live TV and Internet coverage
The worldwide broadcasting schedule of the Formula E event in Rome is available here.
Porsche Taycan Turbo S as the new safety car
Porsche is committed to Formula E safety: With the all-electric Taycan Turbo S, the sports car manufacturer supplies the official safety car this season and underlines the importance of Formula E for Porsche Motorsport. Thanks to its driveability and safety as well as an output of up to 560 kW (761 PS; Taycan Turbo S: Electric power consumption* combined (WLTP) 23.4 – 21.9 kWh/100 km, CO₂ emissions* combined (WLTP) 0 g/km, Electric range* combined (WLTP) 440 – 468 km, Electric range* in town (WLTP) 524 – 573 km), Porsche’s first all-electric sports car is the ideal choice as a safety car in the first and only all-electric motorsport world championship. With Launch Control, the flagship model of the Taycan range accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 260 km/h. The number 22 on the roof of the car is a salute to the 22 drivers who contest season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The striking paintwork incorporates the colours of all eleven competing teams as well as the FIA and Formula E colours. The design symbolises the joint commitment to the future of all-electric motor racing as well as social values such as diversity and community.
The Media Service
The first photos from Rome will be available on the Porsche press database on 8 April. Race reports follows on 9 April (race 4) and 10 April (race 5). Further information about the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will be posted live on the Twitter channel @PorscheFormulaE. All relevant information about the team, the drivers and the racing series can be found in the updated Porsche Formel E Media Guide. The content will be regularly updated over the course of the season and expanded with additional interactive material.
The Porsche 99X Electric
With the Porsche 99X Electric, Porsche returned to open-wheel single-seater racing in 2019 after more than 30 years. The fully-electric racing car sporting the Weissach-developed Porsche E Performance Powertrain also serves as a development platform for the sports car manufacturer’s fully-electric production models. Energy management and efficiency are important factors for success in Formula E and in the development of production cars. For the 2021/2022 season, the 99X Electric has a maximum output of 250 kW in qualification mode and 220 kW in normal race mode. Attack Mode boosts the output to 250 kW. Maximum recuperation is 250 kW; the usable battery capacity is 52 Kilowatt-hours.
Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric racing series bringing thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities since 2014. As an accelerator for innovative and sustainable technologies of mobility, it promotes the worldwide acceptance of electric vehicles with the aim to counteract climate change. The format is compact: practice, qualifying and race all take place on one day. Each race usually runs over 45 minutes plus one lap. Eleven teams tackle the 2021/2022 season with 22 drivers. This makes for interesting and hotly contested races. This marks the third season for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team campaigning the Porsche 99X Electric. NetApp joins the team as the 17th partner. The US company provides support in the areas of data storage and data management at the racetracks and in the development workshops in Weissach.
Sixteen races in ten of the world’s biggest cities make up the provisional 2021/2022 calendar of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Race 1 & 2
28. / 29. January – Diriyah (Saudi Arabia)
12. February – Mexico City (Mexico)
Race 4 & 5
9. / 10. April – Rome (Italy)
30. April – Monaco (Monaco)
Race 7 & 8
14. / 15. May – Berlin (Germany)
4. June – Jakarta (Indonesia)
2. July – Vancouver (Canada)
Race 11 & 12
16. / 17. July – New York City (USA)
Race 13 & 14
30. / 31. July – London (Great Britain)
Race 15 & 16
13. / 14. August – Seoul (South Korea)