Porsche has entered its third season in Formula E with more confidence than before, aiming for race victories, and this weekend in the third round of the season, the team found victory lane. On Saturday the Porsche pair of Pascal Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer qualified first and third respectively, then went on to take a confident Porsche 1-2 victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The team was denied victory here a year ago when it didn’t follow regulatory procedure to the letter and had the win stripped away from them.
It is an extremely Porsche thing to do when entering a new series; running for two seasons basically as extended testing sessions, before jumping to the front and fighting for wins. The racing arm of the German manufacturer has done this cool and calculated move before, most recently with the 919 Hybrid LMP1, and it will likely continue with the upcoming LMDh/GTP program. Here’s hoping that this isn’t a one-off victory for the team in 2022, because I think they have a lot more in them.
Formula E’s new head-to-head qualifying format is a wild ride, and the shootout for pole position was between Edoardo Mortara and Porsche’s Wehrlein. Mortara spun his car at the last corner, crossing the finish line sideways in a flourish, and just seconds later Wehrlein crossed the line with a strong first pole of the season for Porsche. It was a real wild thing to watch.
The dramatic end to our final duel 🤯
It was a great performance from both drivers throughout the duels but @PWehrlein was the one who picked up @juliusbaer pole position ahead of @edomortara 👏
🇲🇽 2022 #MexicoCityEPrix | @PorscheFormulaE @VenturiFE pic.twitter.com/TZVznfgtZ9
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 12, 2022
Wehrlein held an early lead in the E-Prix, but slipped behind a couple competitors by the halfway point. The team’s strategy relied heavily on energy conservation, however, and it all paid dividends by the end. Wehrlein and teammate Lotterer were out of touch with the leaders for a little while in third and fourth respectively, but with careful use of the car’s electric power, they found time and closed the gap.
Once in the lead the Porsche duo were able to control the race, as they had significantly more energy onboard than their closest rivals. As the clock ticked down Wehrlein managed to cross the line with a push to extend the race by one lap, forcing the competition to coast to the finish or risk running out of energy. With just enough on board, both Porsches were able to continue at flat-out pace and secure a 9-second margin of victory at the finish. It was truly compelling stuff to watch!
Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, Porsche AG: “With this victory, Porsche’s Formula E project has achieved its first all-time high. We’ve all worked towards this historic moment and we’ve invested an incredible amount of work and effort. After coming very close several times in the past, today we reaped the rewards for this. Congratulations to the whole team – at the racetrack and also in Weissach.“
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport: “We’ve waited a long time for this day. The fact that we achieved this phenomenal success at round three of the new season makes it particularly valuable with an eye on the world championship title. Congratulations to Pascal Wehrlein, André Lotterer and the squad on their great triumph. I’m proud of every single team member and of all the employees back at Weissach. Everyone worked hard for this victory and they never lost faith in our project. I’d also like to thank our sponsors and fans for the support they’ve given us since we entered Formula E.”
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “It’s a banner day for Porsche. The team was again very focussed and in conjunction with the drivers at the racetrack, successfully implemented the excellent prep work done in Weissach. The weekend ran perfectly – from the first free practice with André’s fastest time to Pascal’s pole-setting performance in qualifying through to this commanding one-two achievement in the race. The drivers did a flawless job and delivered the performance that we expect from them. Even when they initially lost positions, the team remained calm. In the closing phase, they were able to utilise the energy advantage they’d gained to work their way up the order again and clinch this one-two result by a big margin. I would also like to sincerely thank Amiel Lindesay, who did all the prep work and built the team from the very start of the Formula E project.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “I‘ve come close to winning twice in Mexico in the past so I’m delighted that it worked this time. The team had a great plan, although at first I wasn’t entirely sure it would work. After last season, we were under pressure, of course. But we never lost hope, we knew we had a good package and that if everything came together perfectly in one weekend, we would win. That happened today. I hope this victory gives the team new confidence. If we can carry this momentum to the next races, then hopefully things will be a little easier for us from now on.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “This is a great result for the team. Everyone has invested a lot of hard work. Last season with its ups and downs was not easy for us, but now everything has worked out. Both cars ran well from the first practice session. With this one-two result, we showed that we’re serious contenders for the world championship title.”
By clinching the top two podium positions in Mexico, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team progresses up the team rankings to third place. In the drivers’ standings, Pascal Wehrlein sits third, tied for points with André Lotterer in fourth.