Formula E: It’s not about size, it’s about efficiency, says Porsche’s Lotterer

Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani will race at the Riyadh Street Circuit Porsche this weekend as Porsche makes its official entry into the FIA Formula E Championship.

Neel Jani (left) and Andre Lotterer (right) of Porsche.   -  Getty Images

Porsche makes its official entry into the FIA Formula E Championship on Friday, with Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer taking to the track at the Riyadh Street Circuit for the first race of the 2019-20 season.

Jani and Lotterer are no strangers to Porsche, as they were part of its No. 1 LMP1 team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, where they retired from the lead with mechanical failure with four hours to ago.

“You are only as good as your team. It comes down to every single member of the group. We travel together, we work hard together to achieve our highest goals. We did it with Porsche at Le Mans and now we’re in this (Formula E) together,” said the 37-year-old German Lotterer.

Jani added: “Exciting weekend for us. One year of training, learning how to handle the car and understanding how to be energy efficient was crucial. And the main race will be the culmination of the last year. Starting from zero is always a hard thing.”

Lotterer, a three-time Le Mans winner with Audi, emphasised on how Formula E is about efficiency and mobility of the future.

“When I started at Le Mans in 2009, I drove with a B12 engine. And when I won the competition seven years later, I had a four-cylinder engine and I went 14 seconds quicker on the whole. That explains a lot about how engines develop and it’s not about size, it’s about efficiency. It’s about how you make it work. That’s where Formula E is going now,” he said.

Swiss driver Jani, 35, also drove alongside Lotterer at Rebellion Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

He continued: “Formula E is a very meaningful project. We represent the sport’s aspect of electro-mobility and we inspire people to switch to electric cars, which is the future. There’s nothing better than Formula E. We go to 12 cities and race against so many good teams. It’s a super-challenging environment.”

Lotterer moved to Porsche from last season’s winning team DS Techeetah. He, alongside his teammate Jani, explained the team’s preparations for the new season. Both of them had spent a lot of time training at Porsche’s factory near Valencia.

“We spent a lot of extra time in the simulator. Simulation is very important. We had to cover as much as possible. We keep giving inputs to each other and we keep trying new stuff. Formula E is a lot of work. But we feel at home while training and we’ll see if we can feel at home during the opening race,” he said.

 

(The writer is in Riyadh on an invitation from Porsche.)