The premiere of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana was an outstanding advertisement for fully electric racing. On the 2.816-kilometer (1.75-mile) street circuit at the shores of the Hussain Sagar Lake, the 22 drivers treated fans to gripping battles for positions and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. After 33 laps, both Porsche 99X Electric fielded by the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team finished in the top four.
In the drivers’ standings of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Pascal Wehrlein, the winner of both races at Diriyah, leads the drivers’ standings with 80 points after four of 16 races. António Félix da Costa has moved up the rankings to ninth place with 21 points. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is the new leader of the team classification with 101 points. Driving for the Porsche customer squad Avalanche Andretti, André Lotterer (GER) crossed the finish line in ninth place. His teammate Jake Dennis (GBR), who travelled to India ranking second in the world championship, concluded the event in P16 after a collision.
Starting his 100th Formula E race from P13, António Félix da Costa made up positions in the first lap and by mid-race, had joined the frontrunning pack. Thanks to a clever race strategy and his flawless drive, he progressed up the order to take the flag in fourth place. However, a time penalty handed to a rival in front saw him inherit third place on the podium. So far, this is his best result of the season. His teammate and championship leader, Pascal Wehrlein, came from P12 to finish fourth and extend his lead in the drivers’ standings to 18 points.
Comments on the Hyderabad E-Prix, Race 4
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “The team put in a very strong performance today. António secured his first podium for the team, which I’m very pleased about. After his accident in free practice, Pascal fought his way up to fourth place in the race and increased his lead in the world championship. This is also thanks to the team who worked through the night to get his car back on the track for the race. Finishing the race in third and fourth place after a less than satisfactory qualifying is a strong effort that makes me proud. I want to thank the entire team. The fact that we’ve moved into the lead of the world championship is a fantastic reward.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13): “That was a typical Formula E race – exciting to the finish. I got off to a good start but lost a few positions in the pack. We kept our cool and our attack mode worked perfectly. Starting from P13 and finishing third is a terrific result – especially at my 100th Formula E race. I’m supported by a great team. We’ve worked hard and progressed from race to race. We’ll continue on this path.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “I started the race from the twelfth grid spot and earned points for fourth place – I’m very happy with that. After my accident during free practice, I was sent to hospital in the late evening because my back was very painful. It was still sore today but otherwise, everything is fine. I’m pleased for António. He was able to demonstrate how good he is. The fact that we missed out on an entire practice session as a result of the accident was noticeable. Some small details on the car weren’t quite right. Still, all in all it was a great day.”
The next race for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is on February 25 with the Cape Town E-Prix – race 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. This is the first Formula E race in South Africa.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will run two Weissach-developed Porsche 99X Electric racers at the new circuit in the capital of the state of Telangana. Pascal Wehrlein travels to Hyderabad as the leader of the drivers‘ championship in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. He looks forward to this new challenge as much as his teammate António Félix da Costa: For the Portuguese driver, the Hyderabad E-Prix marks the 100th Formula E race.
Porsche’s customer squad Avalanche Andretti also campaigns two Porsche 99X Electric. The racing outfit owned by the American motor racing legend Michael Andretti won the season-opening round in Mexico and currently leads the team classification of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – just two points ahead of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Thanks to Pascal Wehrlein, the crew from Weissach won the two night races in Diriyah. The Porsche 99X Electric has clinched victory in all three races contested so far in season 9.
The Hyderabad E-Prix is the first of four new races on the 2023 Formula E calendar. The other major cities to host the world’s first electric racing series for the first time are Cape Town (South Africa/February 25), Sao Paulo (Brazil/March 25) and Portland (USA/June 24).
Q&A on the Hyderabad E-Prix
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E
How relieved is the team that you’ve had such a successful start to the season? And what are you expecting in Hyderabad?
Florian Modlinger: “In Formula E, we’re all racing in completely new cars. So of course it’s great to have such a successful start to the new season. We’ve shown how strong we are on two completely different racetracks. Nevertheless, it’s no guarantee of success. We’ll have to improve from race to race and keep a close eye on the competition. In Hyderabad we’ll be facing the first of this season’s new racetracks. As always, we’re preparing meticulously and working on the weaknesses we’ve identified so that we can be competitive in India, as well.”
Expectations certainly rise with success. How do you deal with that?
Modlinger: “Our highest expectations are those we put on ourselves. We want to be at the top, we want to win races and secure podium finishes. And, of course, we want to have a say in the championship right to the end. That’s been our goal from the start and nothing has changed. We only have three races behind us, the season is still long. We’re working with the highest concentration from race to race. In Mexico City and Diriyah, we showed that our package is highly competitive in a variety of conditions. In Hyderabad, we’ll be attacking again.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94)
What a great start to season 9, two wins in Diriyah, leading the World Championship – how does that feel?
Pascal Wehrlein: “Super. It was incredibly good to feel so much positive energy in the team after the two wins in Diriyah. Everyone has put a lot of commitment, heart and soul into this project, and this fantastic start to the season makes us all proud. Of course, there are still things we need to work on. We’re not the strongest in qualifying yet. Still, we’ve managed to put ourselves in a position where we can drive to the very front of the field. The car is still new to us and we’re getting better acquainted with it every weekend. We’ve done our homework for now, but just because we’ve won doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the throttle.”
What can you conclude from this almost perfect start to the season for the next races? And how much are you looking forward to India?
Wehrlein: “First of all, it was crucial for us to put in a similarly strong performance on two completely different tracks. We’ve already done quite well in Mexico in the past, and the fact that we were able to confirm this in Diriyah is a huge relief for the team. That makes us optimistic for the future. Of course, we still have to find the optimum setup on every track, but the fact that our car ran so well in the first few races is sensational. I’m really looking forward to Hyderabad. I’ve never been to India. We’ll work hard to be successful there, as well.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13)
In Hyderabad, you’ll be contesting the 100th Formula E race of your career. What does that mean to you?
António Félix da Costa: “100 races in Formula E – that’s really crazy. They were very exciting years with a total of seven victories, 16 podium finishes, eight poles and one championship title. That fills me with pride. I love Formula E and was there at the very first race. Last year we raced in Jakarta for the first time and I started from the front row. Maybe that’s a good omen. Either way, Hyderabad will be a very special weekend for me.”
What insights will you take to Hyderabad from Mexico and Diriyah and what do you expect from the Formula E premiere in India?
da Costa: “We learned a lot in Mexico and Diriyah. I’m working very hard with my engineers to understand what steps we need to take next to ensure success in Hyderabad. India is a new country for me. I don’t think we should limit ourselves to just getting people excited about motor racing. We should also be raising awareness for sustainability and values like inclusion and diversity among the people who come to the racetrack.”
The Hyderabad E-Prix will be contested on a newly built racetrack on the outskirts of the bustling metropolis. The fast circuit built on the southern shore of Lake Hussain Sagar measures 2.816 kilometers (1.75 miles) in length and features long straights and 18 turns.
Live TV and Internet coverage
The worldwide broadcasting schedule of the Formula E event in Hyderabad is available at: www.fiaformulae.com/watch/ways-to-watch.
The Media Service
The first photos from Hyderabad will be available on the Porsche press database on February 10. The race report follows on February 11 (race 4). 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.
The Porsche 99X Electric Gen3
Porsche contests season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with the new Porsche 99X Electric. 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 new Porsche 99X Electric 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.
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 750 hp (560 kW), 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 colors of all 11 competing teams as well as those of the FIA and Formula E. The design symbolizes 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.
The races 2023
16 races in 11 metropolitan areas are on the calendar of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship 2022/2023.
14 January – Mexico City (Mexico)
Races 2 & 3
27 / 28 January – Diriyah (Saudi-Arabia)
11 February – Hyderabad (India)
25 February – Cape Town (South Africa)
25 March – Sao Paulo (Brasilia)
Races 7 & 8
22 / 23 April – Berlin (Germany)
6 May – Monte-Carlo (Monaco)
Races 10 & 11
3 / 4 June – Jakarta (Indonesia)
24 June – Portland (USA)
Races 13 & 14
15 / 16 July - Rome (Italy)
Races 15 & 16
29 / 30 July – London (Great Britain)