The double strike in Diriyah makes the start of the season perfect for the new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. So far, the Weissach-developed electric racing car has won all season 9 races: after Porsche’s customer team Avalanche Andretti won the season opener in Mexico, Pascal Wehrlein has followed up with two victories in Diriyah for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. His teammate António Félix da Costa (POR), the 2020 Formula E champion, crossed the finish line on the city circuit in the capital of Riyadh in eleventh place.
After round three of 16 races, Pascal Wehrlein now leads the drivers’ classification of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with 68 points. António Félix da Costa lies twelfth with six points. In the team rankings, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is second with 74 points.
After a strong qualifying performance, Pascal Wehrlein tackled the second night race in Diriyah on Saturday from P5. Shortly after the start, he gained one position and waited for his chance behind the tight leading pack. Thanks to a flawless race strategy and his Porsche 99X Electric Gen3’s extremely efficient powertrain, he had moved into third place by lap twelve of the 40-lap race, and then second place shortly afterwards. On lap 17, Wehrlein swept into the lead and fended off his rivals to the flag.
Comments on the Diriyah E-Prix, Race 3
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport: “That was a fantastic weekend. The entire team’s hard work is finally being rewarded. I’m very proud of everyone on the squad. We’ve done our homework, now we need to stay focussed. The season is still long and we know how tough the competition is in this world championship. But after this success, it’s now time to celebrate.”
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “A sensational weekend for Porsche with two wins for the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. We can be proud of our development team in Weissach and of our team at the track, which once again executed our strategy perfectly today. We also made progress in qualifying in Diriyah. Pascal secured a much better starting position today with P5 – an advantage he made perfect use of. He got off to a great start, then meticulously fought his way up the order to ultimately take the lead and not let it go.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “I’ll never forget this weekend. Two wins are an unbelievable success. The whole team gave a fantastic performance over the weekend. Everybody worked hard for this achievement and I’m incredibly proud of the team. Today we had blistering race pace and a perfect strategy. We used the attack mode at exactly the right time. That was a decisive advantage. When I won on Friday I had to overtake more cars, but today’s race was even more difficult. You could see that our rivals were catching up. That means we can’t rest on our laurels either.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13): “Another terrific day for Porsche. Congratulations to Pascal and the whole team. Things ran a little better for me today. We’re making progress every day, but of course, we aren’t quite where I’d like us to be yet. But that’s just a question of time. We have a fantastic car. I’m highly motivated and I know I have a superb team behind me. The successes will come.”
The next race for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is on 11 February with the Hyderabad E-Prix – race 4 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. This is the first Formula E race in India.
Porsche in Formula E
In 2023, the squad contests its fourth season in the world’s first all-electric racing series with the new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. Avalanche Andretti fields two Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 as the first Porsche customer team in Formula E. As an accelerator for innovative and sustainable mobility technologies, Formula E has brought thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities since 2014. With the all-electric Taycan Turbo S, Porsche again supplies the official safety car, and thus underlines the importance of Formula E for Porsche Motorsport.
First night race
On the historic city circuit close to the Riyadh capital, the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 again netted a one-two result. Second place went to the Porsche customer team Avalanche Andretti with Jake Dennis (GBR), the winner of the opening round in Mexico City. After the second of 16 races, Pascal Wehrlein ranks second in the drivers’ classification of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with 43 points. António Félix da Costa (POR) lies eleventh with six points. In the team rankings, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is second with 49 points.
Pascal Wehrlein headed into round two of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship from P9. His teammate António Félix da Costa became entangled in a collision on lap one which forced him back to the pits, and the safety car was deployed on the 2.495-kilometre circuit. At the restart, Wehrlein catapulted to sixth place. Thanks to the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3’s extremely efficient powertrain and a flawless race strategy, he steadily progressed up the order. On the 18th of 39 laps, Wehrlein was on course for the third podium step. Five laps later he was running in second place. In the final stage of the thrilling race with a flurry of overtaking moves, he had the most energy at his disposal – and he used it: on lap 30, he snatched the lead and defended it to the flag. After pitting to replace the front wing, António Félix da Costa rejoined the race at the back of the field and ultimately crossed the finish line in 18th.
Thank you for sharing our @PWehrlein victory clip!— TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team (@PorscheFormulaE) January 27, 2023
🤩🥇🏆 #MakeItMatter #PorscheFormulaE #DiriyahEPrix @FIAFormulaE pic.twitter.com/sjMFJ7W7eu
Comments on the Diriyah E-Prix, race 2
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport: “That was a massive team effort. We weren’t a hundred percent happy with our qualifying, but in the race, we again underlined the potential of our Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. I feel really sorry for António, but all in all, everyone did a fantastic job. We’ve validated our strong performance in Mexico and shown that we’re on the right path. We’re now looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “This is a fantastic result for our team and the car. The hard work of our team in Weissach and here at the racetrack has paid off. Pascal put in a powerful drive from ninth on the grid and crowned his 50th Formula E race with this great victory. The fact that our customer squad Avalanche Andretti secured another one-two for the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 makes this day very special.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “What a great race. I knew we had a good car, even though not everything went to plan in qualifying with P9. Still, I was confident that I could make up a few positions. But I didn’t expect to win! We had a perfect strategy. I managed to conserve energy behind other cars and then use it to overtake. I’m extremely happy and grateful for this awesome car. I’d like to thank everyone in the team who has worked so hard over the past few months to make such successes possible.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13): “Unfortunately, that wasn’t my race. In the second corner after the start, two cars became entangled in front of me and I had no chance to get past them. I’m very pleased for the team and Pascal. We again saw just how powerful our package is. That’s hugely motivating for the race tomorrow.”
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team fields two of its new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 on the 2.495-kilometre racetrack not far from the Riyadh capital. In the cockpits are Pascal Wehrlein (GER #94), who kicked off season 9 in Mexico with second place after a strong performance, as well as António Félix da Costa (POR #13). Wehrlein will contest his 50th Formula E race on Friday. Avalanche Andretti also campaigns a pair of Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. The Porsche customer squad owned by the American motor racing icon Michael Andretti won the season-opener in Mexico.
Q&A on the Mexico City E-Prix
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E
What went particularly well for the team in Mexico and what still needs work?
Florian Modlinger: “The team and the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 experienced a strong start to the season. We secured our first podium result and both cars earned points. The implementation and execution of the race weekend went very smoothly. Our processes worked well. It was a shame that Antonio missed out on the duel stage by just two-thousandths of a second. It’s still early days with the Gen3, so the car still has a lot of potential. We now need to tap this step by step.”
What insights do you take from Mexico to Diriyah and what are your expectations?
Florian: “The performance in Mexico was right. It was extremely close with five cars within a tenth of a second. The night races in Diriyah with completely different track characteristics pose a new challenge. The performance of individual teams might look very different there. We can only be sure of one thing: fractions of seconds can again make all the difference in Diriyah. Our goal is clear: again we don’t want to make any mistakes and again we aim to get the most out of our cars to fight for top results.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94)
How happy are you with the season opener and what’s your focus for the next races?
Pascal Wehrlein: “We got off to a fantastic start. I’m very pleased with how things went in Mexico. Before the weekend, no one in the team was completely sure how our performance would stack up against the competition. In Mexico, the squad was rewarded for all the effort they put into the new car and into preparing for the season. There’s definitely still a lot more potential to find in the cars as the season progresses and, during this very normal process, we need to make sure that we maintain our top ranking.”
What worked particularly well in the first race with the new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 and where do you still see potential?
Wehrlein: “The entire race weekend in Mexico ran flawlessly. As a result, the starting setup for our new car was virtually perfect. We just had to make a few tweaks and so were fully competitive from the first free practice. One can also find room for improvement and even more performance in a new car. We learn something every day and I’m sure we’ll succeed in this.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13)
The season opener in Mexico was your first race for Porsche. How was it?
António Félix da Costa: “It was certainly a strong race and hugely successful for Porsche. For me personally, I’m not 100% happy. It wasn’t my intention to finish seventh. I want to win. Still, it was a great to see how great the package is that we’ve been given this season. Taking these insights from Mexico was hugely motivating and an incentive to keep working hard and raising the benchmark even higher for our rivals. From that perspective, I’m pleased with how the season kicked off but, obviously, I want to do better at the next races.”
How is the teamwork going and what are the special track features at night in Diriyah?
Da Costa: “The most important thing for a racing team is that there’s synergy in all areas. That worked in Mexico and we were rewarded for it. We’ve been learning ever since the new car took its first race laps on the track. And it’s not just since Mexico that we’ve known where our focus should lie. Everyone in the team is highly motivated and ready to pick up in Diriyah where we left off in Mexico. The circuit is demanding and technically difficult. Driving in the dark means the temperatures will be much lower and it’ll be a big challenge to get the tyres performing optimally, especially in the early stage when grip isn’t great due to sand on the track. Still, at the end of the day, the conditions are the same for everyone.”
Historic fortifications and traditional mud-brick houses form the exotic backdrop of the Diriyah E-Prix. The challenging circuit measures 2.495 kilometres in length and features 21 turns. Energy management and a good race strategy play an important role on this fast track with two long straights. The circuit is floodlit with state-of-the-art LED technology. For Pascal Wehrlein, Diriyah is “one of the best tracks on the Formula E calendar.”
Live TV and Internet Coverage
The worldwide broadcasting schedule of the Formula E event in Diriyah is available at: https://www.fiaformulae.com/watch/ways-to-watch.
The first photos from Diriyah will be available on the Porsche press database on 26 January. Race reports follow on 27 January (race 2) and 28 January (race 3). 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 Porsche Formula E Media Guide at media.porsche.com/formula-e. The content will be regularly updated throughout the season and expanded with additional interactive material.
Porsche 99X Electric Gen3
Porsche contests season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. The new electric racing car featuring the Porsche E-Performance Powertrain – which underwent modifications in Weissach for the third generation vehicle in the innovative electric racing series – 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 Porsche’s all-electric production cars. The maximum output of the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 is 350 kW (476 PS), which is 100 kW more than the predecessor generation (Gen2). At least 40 percent of the energy used is recuperated via regenerative braking. The new Gen3 cars are the fastest, lightest, most powerful and most efficient electric racing cars ever built.
Porsche Taycan Turbo S Safety Car
Porsche is committed to Formula E safety: With the all-electric Taycan Turbo S, Porsche again supplies the official safety car this season – thus underlining 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), the top model in the Taycan range is the ideal choice as a safety car in the world’s first electric racing series. The striking paintwork incorporates the colours of all eleven competing teams as well as those of the FIA and Formula E. The design symbolises the joint commitment to the future of all-electric motor racing as well as social values such as diversity and community.
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 mobility technologies, it promotes the worldwide acceptance of electric vehicles. Eleven teams tackle the 2022/2023 season with 22 drivers. This guarantees interesting and fiercely competitive races. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team contests its fourth season of the innovative electric racing series with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3.