The Porsche Formula E team was within a sniff of its second official victory in the series this weekend in Monaco when it all went pear shaped. After qualifying second and fighting at the front for the opening stages of the race in Monaco on Saturday, Pascal Wehrlein was forced to retire from the lead of the E-Prix with some kind of technical fault that saw his car grind to a halt. He’d fought his way to the lead from second on the grid, then dropped to third when he took his attack mode activation. Once in attack mode, it was easy work to get back into the lead of the race, and he was streaking away from the competition when he suffered a brake lockup, then had no power to drive forward. It was truly bizarre to see. With Wehrlein out of the race, it was down to Andre Lotterer to keep the Porsche faithful in the points. At that point in the race he was racing in fifth, and holding his own, heading toward the front. With 14 minutes left in the race, Mahindra’s Oliver Rowland tried a low-percentage move down the inside of Lotterer at turn one, then oversteered at corner exit, shoving Lotterer directly nose-in to the wall, knocking him out of the race and forcing him to retire.
This result hasn’t been good for Porsche, as a no-points race is detrimental in this championship. Lotterer is 6th in the championship at the moment with 43 points, while Wehrlein has 42 points in seventh. Porsche is the sixth best team in the championship at the moment, with 85 points. Considering the Mercedes team has 120 points right now, it’s going to be difficult to fight back from this position.
Comments on the Monaco E-Prix, Race 6
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “This is a bitter day for the team. After a very good first half, Pascal was leading the field only to have a technical defect throw him out of contention. We now have to analyse what happened. At the restart after the safety car phase, André was knocked out of the race by a competitor. The driver and the team put in a strong qualifying performance and a promising start to the race, but unfortunately weren’t rewarded in the end. Still, we’re looking ahead with confidence. We’ve been competitive on all tracks this season. In Berlin, we’ll try to come back even stronger and earn the points that we missed out on in Monaco despite our good effort.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “What a disappointing weekend. On the positive side, the qualifying went well and we were fast in the race. We don’t yet know why the car suddenly stopped while I was in the lead.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “The race went really well at first. I was fighting for a better position when the guy behind me hit the rear of my car and shoved me into the wall.”
The next race weekend for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is on 14 and 15 May with the Berlin E-Prix, the 7th and 8th round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.