A strong second place for Porsche works driver André Lotterer (D) in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 season-opener on Friday and valuable experience gathered in the second Diriyah E-Prix race was, overall, an encouraging debut for Porsche in the fully-electric race series. “We are up with the frontrunners; the pace is there. We can build on that,” explained Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development Porsche AG.
After reaching the podium on the previous day, Lotterer initially crossed the finish line in sixth place at the end of the second race on the 2.494-kilometre circuit near the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh. He finished just over three seconds behind race-winner Alexander Sims (D, BMW). However, he then received a drive-through penalty for overtaking at the start of a safety car period. Lotterer failed to spot the yellow flags as he passed another car that was experiencing technical issues. Having started the race from tenth place, the German driver was demoted to a final position of 14th. Lotterer’s team-mate Neel Jani (CH) moved up five places from 18th on the grid to finish 13th.
The Formula E Fanboost saw fans vote Lotterer into the top five on both days. This provided the Porsche driver with 100 kJ of additional energy in each race. With two races out of 14 now complete, Lotterer is sixth in the drivers’ championship with 18 points. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is also in sixth place in the team standings. The third race of the season is scheduled to take place on 18 January in Santiago de Chile.
Quotes on the Diriyah E-Prix
Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “Following on from Friday's success, that was another good race today. André once again made up some places as he moved through the field. Even though we did not manage to score any points at the end of the second race, it was a positive weekend for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. We have gathered some valuable information and now we have to do our homework. I am happy for the whole team. The results give us confidence for the next races of the season.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “It was a challenging second race but our pace was better than on Friday and it represents a big step forward for me personally. We all gained a lot of experience here and now we have to continue the hard work to ensure that we can benefit from that for the upcoming races.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “All in all, a great start to the season with the second place on Friday. We could have scored another eight points by finishing sixth today. Unfortunately, I was demoted after the race finished. I was just overtaking Pascal Wehrlein as the safety car appeared on the circuit. That was just really unlucky in terms of timing."
Encouraging start to the Formula E debut season for Porsche