His teammate and current championship leader Pascal Wehrlein gained eleven positions in the race on the São Paulo Street Circuit and took the flag in seventh place. After the events in Hyderabad and Cape Town, the Brazilian financial hub was the third new venue on the 2023 Formula E calendar. On the São Paulo Street Circuit with its characteristic long straights, fans were treated to a race packed with overtaking moves and slipstream duels. After securing three race victories so far this season, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team gave an impressive performance in the metropolis with a strong team effort and a solid harvest of points.
In the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Pascal Wehrlein leads the drivers’ standings with 86 points ahead of Jake Dennis (GBR) from the Porsche customer team Avalanche Andretti, who left São Paulo empty-handed. António Félix da Costa ranks fifth. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team leads the team classification with 144 points, 41 points ahead of Envision Racing. After André Lotterer (GER) finished twelfth, Avalanche Andretti occupies fifth place.
After scoring his best qualifying result this season, in which he missed out on pole position by just six-hundredths of a second in his Porsche 99X Electric, António Félix da Costa tackled the race from P2. He moved into the lead several times during his race on the 2.933-kilometre circuit. In the final phase, however, the winner of the Cape Town race made a driving error, which thwarted his chance of a podium finish. With fourth place, he still scored as many crucial points as Pascal Wehrlein: Starting from P18, the Diriyah two-time winner put in a strong drive to make up no fewer than eleven positions and ultimately finish seventh.
Comments on the São Paulo E-Prix, Race 6
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “These were hard-fought but well-deserved points, which could still be critical for us. Pascal drove a sensational race and extended his lead in the drivers’ standings. It was a particularly strong performance, especially on this track and given the course setup, because he also had to contend with a badly damaged car in the second half of the race. António was on course for the podium for a long stretch but had to drop back due to a braking incident. Today it was particularly important to see that we improved significantly in qualifying. Now, we're working hard towards our home races in Berlin.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13): “That was a very positive day with decent points for us. I was super happy with my qualifying. Considering where we're coming from, that was a big step forward. It was definitely worth investing so much energy in qualifying. We had a good strategy in the race. Unfortunately, I made a mistake, I had to take a shortcut through the chicane and lost a few positions as a result. Ultimately, that cost us a podium finish.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “After a difficult qualifying session, it was more or less about damage control in the race. To move up from P18 to P7 and score important points is something we can be happy with. However, more would have been possible today. If we’d done better in qualifying, the race would’ve been easier too. At least we extended our lead in the drivers’ and team standings. We’re working hard to keep improving from race to race.”
The next event for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is the Berlin E-Prix on 22 and 23 April – rounds 7 and 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Formula E continues its expansion drive: With the São Paulo E-Prix, the world’s first electric racing series now puts Brazil on its map. The São Paulo Street Circuit is the third new racetrack where the 22 drivers compete with their new Gen3 cars this season. Here too, fans will be treated to some action-packed racing with powerful and energy-efficient electric racing cars on the fast street circuit in the Brazilian financial centre. In addition to the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team with drivers Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa (POR), the Porsche customer squad Avalanche Andretti also fields two Porsche 99X Electric, which will be driven by Jake Dennis (GBR) and André Lotterer (GER).
Pascal Wehrlein, the winner of both races Diriyah, travels to São Paulo as the leader of the drivers‘ classification (80 points) ahead of Mexico-winner Jake Dennis (62 points). After clinching his first victory as a Porsche works driver in Cape Town, António Félix da Costa ranks fourth in the standings with 46 points. In the team championship, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team tops the leaderboard with 126 points ahead of Envision Racing (84) and Avalanche Andretti (80).
Q&A on the São Paulo E-Prix
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E
After five races in a fortnightly rhythm, you had a longer break before São Paulo. How did that affect the intensity of your training?
Florian Modlinger: “Up until now, everything has been one event after another without a break. Everyone had to work at their maximum potential. As a team, we had to work with total concentration and make major progress from race to race to stay competitive. We succeeded in doing that. We went into the four-week break to recharge our batteries and work harder on improving the potential of our Porsche 99X Electric.”
How ready were you to take a break?
Modlinger: “After such a demanding start to the season with five races within six weeks in four different cities, some time to breathe was very welcome. But we’re still on a steep learning curve with our new car. The break gave us the chance to make further progress. Having time off is definitely necessary, too, because our competitors have also used that time to continue working on their packages.”
How would you sum up the first races of the season? What went well and where do you still see potential?
Modlinger: “Our team had a very successful start to the season. Three wins in five races – that’s something everyone in the team and in our development squad can be proud of. Our strengths so far this season have been the execution itself and the race performance. We’ve made fewer mistakes than the competition and have consistently called on our potential. We still have work to do in qualifying. We definitely have some reserves left there to tap into. If we were to start from the front, that would make things a lot easier for us. But we’ve gradually improved in recent weeks on that front, too.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver (#13)
Was Cape Town the best of your 101 Formula E races so far and what makes your victory there so special?
António Félix da Costa: “There have been a few races in my Formula E career where I’ve come from far down the field to the very front. Cape Town was definitely one of my best, I’d place it in my top 3. The fact that it was my first victory with Porsche makes it special, of course, especially because my start to the season wasn’t easy. But with the support of my team, I fought my way out of that slump. I’m firmly convinced that this has united the team even more and made us even stronger. I feel much more comfortable in my car and hope that we can now gain momentum and experience more races together like the one in Cape Town.”
You love being in Brazil. Where does this affinity for the country come from and how did you use your time in the leadup to the São Paulo E-Prix?
Da Costa: “Since Formula E doesn’t race in Portugal, São Paulo is something of a home race for me. I love Brazil. I race a stock car there every year, and I always get a very warm welcome from the fans. I’m not quite as popular with the drivers because I usually win or at least finish on the podium. Still, I get on well with everyone. We had a bit more time before São Paulo than before the previous races. This allowed us to dive a little deeper into the analysis to find out where we can still improve. In Hyderabad and Cape Town, we fared quite well on the new tracks. I don’t see why we shouldn’t manage something big in São Paulo as well.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94)
Did the longer break before São Paulo suit you or would you have preferred to get back into the car earlier after your retirement in Cape Town?
Pascal Wehrlein: “If it were up to me, I would’ve climbed back in the cockpit the next day. After a poor result, you always want to get back into the car as quickly as possible to replace the bad with a good performance. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to the break. The start of the season was very demanding – with a race every two weeks in different time zones plus simulator work in between. I used the time off to review the races so far, analyse data and spend time with my family. In São Paulo, our team will be back on the grid with freshly charged batteries.”
You’re leading in the world championship. What are your thoughts about the first races of the season?
Wehrlein: “Overall, I’m very happy with my start to the season. I won two races, finished second once and scored a load of points. I’m leading in the world championship, as is our team. That’s a tremendous success. We’ve evolved fantastically as a team. There’s an incredibly positive energy among us. We all have the same goal. Everyone works hard towards that, everyone wants to achieve the maximum result in every race. I’m very proud of the team and to be a part of it. As a driver, it gives me a lot of pleasure to show what we’re capable of in such a great car.”
The 2.933-kilometre-long São Paulo Street Circuit featuring eleven turns runs through the Anhembi Sambadrome, where 100,000 spectaculars gather to watch the colour procession of the samba schools during the carnival season. The circuit is a typical Formula E course with 90-degree corners and a chicane on the backstraight. There are no high-speed corners. At this time of the year in São Paulo, rain is almost guaranteed every day. Temperatures range between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Live TV and Internet coverage
The worldwide broadcasting schedule of the Formula E event in São Paulo is available at: https://www.fiaformulae.com/watch/ways-to-watch.
The Media Service
The first photos from São Paulo will be available on the Porsche press database on 24 March. The race report follows on 25 March (race 6). 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 https://media.porsche.com/formula-e. The content will be regularly updated throughout the season and expanded with additional interactive material.
The Porsche 99X Electric
Porsche contests season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with the 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 Porsche’s all-electric production cars. The maximum output of the 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. The new Gen3 cars are the fastest, lightest, most powerful and most efficient electric vehicles 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; Taycan Turbo S: emissioni CO₂ combinato (WLTP) 0 g/km, consumo elettrico combinato (WLTP) 23,4 – 22,0 kWh/100 km, Gamma elettrica combinata (WLTP) 440 – 467 km, Gamma elettrica in aree urbane (WLTP) 524 – 570 km), 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.