This weekend Porsche had yet another successful attempt at the Formula E doubleheader. This time the E-Prix was held in London, and for an interesting twist it was held partially inside and partially outside of a large building, the ExCeL track in East London’s historic Docklands district. Sadly the points didn’t help much, as Porsche was leapfrogged this weekend in the team points championship which saw the Mahindra team score a pair of podiums, significantly outscoring Porsche. The German sports car manufacturer is now ranked 8th out of 12 teams in the series, down one spot from the previous round. That said, Porsche has needed some points hauls, and this round saw both cars into the points in round 12 and a further points finish for one of them in round 13. It might not have vaulted the team up the standings, but it was a solid points grab, surely with more to come.
Race 12 —
Porsche driver Andre Lotterer set the fastest time in the weekend’s qualifying session, though because of the way qualifying works, he didn’t quite get pole position. He did make it into the “superpole” session, where he secured a fifth placed starting position, his best of the season. Shortly after the start of the race Lotterer made up a position, jockeying into fourth on the fly. As unlucky as Porsche has been in FE this season, its luck continued trending downward as Lotterer missed his marks slightly during his second attempt to activate attack mode. He moved way offline, but missed one of the three marked spots, and was not given the extra boost as a result, dropping him a position back to fifth, and requiring he make the offline attack mode attempt one more time.
Porsche teammate Pascal Wehrlein started the race in 12th position, which is exactly where he finished the race.
Fortunately for Porsche, both Nissan competitors were disqualified from this race, promoting Lotterer up to fourth and Wehrlein up to tenth, netting points for both Porsche 99X Electric racers.
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E: “That was a good day for us. André put in a strong drive to make it into Super Pole with the fastest time. Unfortunately in the race, he missed one of the loops to activate attack mode and had to wait until the next lap to use the additional energy. That cost him a possible podium. Still, it was a good race for him. With Pascal, we need to see why he didn’t have the same speed as his teammate. All in all, having two cars in the points is a result we can build on in tomorrow’s race.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “The points that I took away are good but I’m not entirely satisfied. I missed the attack mode and that cost me a podium spot. I was so close to the driver in front of me that I couldn’t see the line properly. As a result, I didn’t drive over one of them and had to try again. It’s a shame. Now we’ll focus on tomorrow.“
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#99): “Today didn’t go well for me. Qualifying was difficult. The track was still damp when I went out with my group. It gradually dried up and the following two groups had a clear advantage. The start of my race wasn’t particularly great either. One point is some consolation but I’ll attack again tomorrow.”
Race 13 —
In the second race of the weekend, taking place on the Sunday, Lotterer had much worse luck than he had managed on Saturday, naturally. Of course trading one car for the other, Porsche managed to score some decent points with Wehrlein. The two racers seemingly flipped their positions for Sunday’s event with Wehrlein just barely missing out on Super Pole, and Lotterer mired back in the midfield.
Pascal took his 99x Electric racer into the race from 7th on the grid. He drove a solid race, moving up one position into sixth, and was again rewarded a position when a competitor was disqualified after the fact. Lotterer, meanwhile, started further back in 16th place. He made some really great moves in the early part of the race, rocketing through the field up to 9th position at one point. As seems to be a frequent occurrence this season, Lotterer was handed a drive-through penalty in the second half of the race when he made contact with an opponent on the main straight before turn 1. The drive-through negated all of his hard work, pushing him back to 17th at the checkered flag.
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E: “That was an exciting race, typical for such a narrow and twisty racetrack. It wasn’t easy today, so with that in mind, Pascal did a very good job. We can be satisfied with the second top-five result on our race debut in London. André started from one of the back rows, drove a remarkable comeback race and almost finished in the points. The drive-through penalty unfortunately prevented him from profiting from his strong performance. All in all, we’re taking a lot of positives with us from London to the season finale in Berlin. The world championship is still open. At our home race, we want to bring the season to a successful conclusion.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#99): “That was an improvement today, which was also due to the qualifying. I almost made it into the Super Pole. In terms of the race, you walk a fine line on this track as you saw by the multiple collisions. Overtaking is tricky and there’s a very high risk of damaging your car. It was important for me to make it through well and earn as many points as possible. We’re still in the fight for the title. Now we’re all looking forward to Berlin.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “I’m not happy with my qualifying but my car ran like a dream in the race and I managed to gain a few positions. However, the drive-through penalty put an abrupt halt to my charge up the order. Fourth yesterday, 17th today — that’s always possible in Formula E. All in all, London was a good weekend for us and that makes me confident for the final races in Berlin.”