- Maximum Mexico. Porsche Factory Team Looks to Return to Podium in Mexico City.
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Maximum Mexico. Porsche Factory Team Looks to Return to Podium in Mexico City.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team travels to the next round of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship full of optimism and with a clear goal. The German marque’s factory Formula E program is focused on scoring maximum points with the Porsche 99X Electric race car at the Mexico City E-Prix. The race takes place on sections of the iconic Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City, Mexico. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team enters two electric-powered Porsche 99X Electric open wheel race cars in the championship with “works” drivers Neel Jani (Switzerland) driving the No. 18 and André Lotterer (Germany) behind the wheel of the No. 36.
The 1.62-miles (2.606-km) circuit has been adapted for this year’s Formula E race and features long, fast corners, as well as some narrow sections. The final sector takes the drivers through the “Foro Sol Stadium”, a former baseball field which is known for its unique atmosphere. The race course is also famously recognized for its high altitude, climbing to a full 7,382-feet (2,250 meters) above sea level, making the E-Prix in Mexico City the highest race on the Formula E calendar.
“Formula E is totally different to any other motorsport series, which means we cannot really use what we learned in the LMP1 races." Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E
The schedule for the weekend is the tight and efficient approach to racing that the world’s premier all-electric motorsport championship traditionally takes. There is a short functional test (Shakedown) on the eve of the race (February 14). Race day is February 15 which starts with two free practice sessions; the first lasts 45-minutes, the second 30-minutes. In qualifying, the drivers are divided into four groups of six, based on the standings in the Drivers’ Championship. Lotterer is currently ranked in ninth-place after three races and, therefore, will start in Group 2. Jani, in 23rd-place, goes in Group 4. The drivers each have six minutes to set the best possible lap time. The fastest six drivers across all the groups then qualify for the 20-minute Super Pole. This decides who will start the race from the first, second and third row of the grid. The race lasts 45-minutes plus one lap.
Qualifying and the Mexico City E-Prix will be broadcast on FS2 in the United States. Qualifying will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 15. The 45-minute race, plus one lap, will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The first images from Mexico will be available after the Shakedown on Friday, February 14. Further information on the Mexico City E-Prix will be published live on the Twitter channel of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team: @PorscheFormulaE.
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E.
“We took what we learned in Diriyah [Saudi Arabia] and put it into practice in Santiago [Chili], where we were better prepared. The race obviously did not go entirely to plan. However, we did make progress, which gives us cause for optimism. It is important to keep learning all the time and to maintain our positive mindset. The learning curve remains a steep one. That goes for the coming E-Prix and all the remaining races. The team is well prepared and will push hard again at the Mexico City E-Prix.”
“Formula E is totally different to any other motorsport series, which means we cannot really use what we learned in the LMP1 races. The circuit has also been specially adapted. Generally speaking, we like the new layout, which has far faster corners and is longer than last season. We are really looking forward to lining up at the Mexico City E-Prix with the two Porsche 99X Electric.”
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 18 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Qualifying in Santiago showed us that we have the potential to make it into the Super Pole. I am learning with every qualifying session and every race. I would obviously like to take another step forward in Mexico. It would be nice to get both cars into the Super Pole. As the track has more grip than other Formula E circuits, the conditions will presumably be similar for all four qualifying groups, meaning everyone will have equal opportunity.”
“Compared to my previous races at this circuit, the Formula E layout only features two of the same corners. Generally speaking, the track is not your typical Formula E circuit, but it is rather more familiar territory for me. You have more grip and there are no bumps. It is reminiscent of classic racetracks. It is a very fast circuit with long straights and sweeping corners, which will significantly affect energy management. The temperatures also play a major role there. They affect both the tires and battery management. Generally speaking, we travel to Mexico in a positive frame of mind. The fans always make us very welcome in Formula E, and it is great fun to race in front of the crowds. We want to exploit our potential at the Mexico City E-Prix.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Generally speaking, the circuit is much faster than last year. Two sections are key: the first sector is completely different to last year and the final turn no longer has a chicane. You will not find a longer right-hander at any other Formula E circuit. That will pose a challenge when it comes to tire temperature, particularly for the rear-left tire. It will be interesting to see how this factor affects tire management.”
“It is hard to say what awaits us in Mexico. In principle, we want to finish in the points with both cars. The circuit is more or less new to everyone, which is a good thing for us. It means we are not at a disadvantage compared to the other teams. And it is more of a traditional racetrack, which means the field will presumably be close together. The layout means you must be economical with your energy management, which will be a deciding factor. The Mexico City E-Prix is always a great race. The Mexican fans are very enthusiastic. When you drive through the stadium, you can hear the crowds in the grandstands. That is what makes this E-Prix so special.”