After a couple of disappointing rounds for the Porsche Formula E team, they managed to settle into the race in Morocco on Saturday in order to score a few good championship points with André Lotterer coming home in 8th position. After starting the race 3rd on the grid, we have to admit that Lotterer's 8th is a slight disappointment, but it does prove that the car has points-paying pace if the Le Mans champions can get the darn thing to the finish. Neel Jani struggled with his Porsche 99X Electric chassis setup all weekend, starting 23rd and finishing 18th.
Lotterer started in the aforementioned 3rd position on the grid and quickly dropped to fourth on the opening lap. Over the next few laps he dropped back two more positions, then battled his way back up to fourth. In the closing laps, Lotterer was forced to back off the throttle to ensure his battery would have enough power to make it to the end, and fell from fourth to eighth by the time the checkers fell. It's a shame that he didn't get the result that the car was obviously capable of on outright speed, but that's why they run the race.
It's obvious that the Porsche 99X Electric has the speed needed to be competitive, but now the team needs to work on race craft and get the cars to the finish intact and with enough juice. It's been a tough start for Porsche thus far in this new series, but I still think the company has what it takes to turn things around and make a good car. Remember, the team has only been operational since late last year.
After five out of 13 races, Lotterer now has 25 points and is twelfth in the drivers’ standings for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is ninth in the team championship, with the same number of points. Neel Jani has not yet scored any points.
Reactions to the Marrakesh E-Prix
Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “Our car was once again very strong in qualifying and the first half of the race went well too. Towards the end of the race, we had saved less energy than the cars around us which is why André (Lotterer) lost ground during the final two laps. We will take another look at that and analyse it carefully. Our aim for the future is to convert the strong qualifying performance into consistently good race results.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “Of course, we're happy to score these points in Marrakesh. Having started from third, we’d have liked to have finished better, but the second half of the race was not easy. Nonetheless, we were still able to learn a lot. We will draw the right conclusions from our experiences today.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “During the previous races, our pace was good but we were unable to record the results we had aimed for. This time, it was difficult for me from the start. I did not feel right on the brakes at all during the day. We will examine that in detail. We still have plenty of races ahead of us. We will continue to work intensively and improve.”