The Formula E season forges on with the third of six races from the Tempelhof airport in Berlin. The first two, held on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, were conducted on a reversed circuit of the traditional Berlin ePrix layout. Today (Saturday) and Sunday’s races are run on the standard Berlin layout, while next Wednesday and Thursday will see a totally new circuit introduced with several more technical corners. Thus far Porsche and Lotterer have managed to do pretty well in all three races that have run. The Belgian-German driver managed to finish fifth in a tightly contested race to score some good and well-needed points.
— TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team (@PorscheFormulaE) August 8, 2020
Andre started the race from 7th position, and was on the defense from the start. For at least the first dozen laps or so Lotterer was taking a measured approach to the fight, staying exactly where he was. A safety car on lap 11 to pull a pair of cars off the track involved in a suspension-collapsing collision (unfortunately one of those cars was Lotterer’s teammate Neel Jani). Following the safety car things started getting hot on track for Lotterer. A tire puncture for the Mercedes racer of Stoffel Vandoorne ahead pushed Lotterer up into 5th. A late race pass on Nissan’s Oliver Rowland saw him move up into 5th where he finished.
Lotterer had a few chances to overtake current championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa, including an extremely ballsy move as the final minute of his Attack Mode ran out. He shoved a nose around the outside of da Costa at the final corner and couldn’t quite make it stick. Similarly, the final lap saw Lotterer pushing very hard to find a way around the two DS Techeetah racers ahead, but ultimately had to settle for 5th.
Porsche’s other driver, Neel Jani remains one of only three drivers in the championship this season to have a points score of nil. This one wasn’t his fault, as a car ahead was simply divebombed and broke its suspension, causing it to abruptly stop at the exit of a tight corner. As Jani exited the corner he had nowhere to go and folded his front suspension into the stopped car on track. Both cars were deemed immobile and a safety car was deployed to get them removed. Then again, perhaps if Jani hadn’t qualified quite so low in the race he wouldn’t have been in a position to hit another car.
From where I sit, it’s unlikely that Jani will return to the Porsche Formula E team when the 2020-21 season begins later this year.