Chile Pepper. Porsche Motivated to Gain Experience in Chile Formula E Round.
Following the successful season-opener in November, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team travels to Chile for round three of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The goal for the Santiago E-Prix on January 18 is to finish in the points and gain more valuable experience in the process. The new Porsche team scored an impressive second-place finish in its debut with factory driver André Lotterer (Germany) piloting the German marques’ Porsche 99X Electric single-seat race car at the Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia. The 45-minute, plus one lap, race on Saturday takes place on a purpose-built street circuit in the city center of the Chilean capital, Santiago, in Parque O’Higgins.
The two-day race weekend pushes teams to maximize every opportunity on track. Only a short functional test (shakedown) on Friday January 17 precedes the single-day of practice, qualifying and the race. Race day opens with two free practice sessions; the first 45-minutes long, the second 30-minutes. In qualifying, drivers are divided into four groups of six, based on the standings in the Drivers’ Championship. Lotterer currently sits in sixth-place in the points’ standings, and, therefore, starts in Group One while his Porsche teammate Neel Jani (Switzerland) is in 21st-place and will qualify in Group Four. The drivers each have six-minutes to set the best possible lap time. The fastest six drivers across all the groups then qualify for the 20-minute Super Pole. This decides who will start the race from the first, second and third row of the grid. The race lasts 45-minutes plus one lap to challenge manufacturers, teams and drivers to press the growing technology of electric automobiles.
The 1.42-mile (2.287-kilometer) street circuit in Santiago follows traditional Formula E track trademarks with narrow sections, hairpins and eleven corners. Two signature features are a long left-hander (Turn 8) and a long straight.
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 18 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“The two races in Saudi Arabia at the end of November were a steep learning curve for me and the whole team. I was not happy with my weekend. Over the past few weeks, we have worked hard and grappled intensively with all the details to analyze the areas where we still have room for improvement. The focus was on the car set-up and energy management. The difficulty is bringing everything together. Everyone has done their homework during the winter break, so let’s see how we get on in Chile. The goal is definitely to score points.”
My first impression (of the Santiago, Chile track) from the simulator is that the circuit is completely different to the one in Diriyah. It is more of a classic Formula E track, with tight corners and hairpins, not all that quick, and with fewer changes in elevation. The track has one of the longest straights. Of all the Formula E circuits on the calendar, this is where we could reach a high top speed. As far as the asphalt is concerned, there could also be variations, which will have an effect on the grip level and thus the car set-up.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Generally speaking, I am cautiously optimistic about the race in Chile. We had a great start to the season in Saudi Arabia, but I am also aware that there is still room for improvement. As a new Formula E team, we still have a lot to learn. The break has been good for us, as it gave us time to analyze a lot of data. As such, I am confident that we will improve again in Chile. Whether we will have as good a race as in Saudi Arabia is hard to say. We must get through qualifying without any incidents, then we will have a good chance of picking up points. The potential is definitely there.”
Last year, it was hot in Santiago. That made the race very tiring for us drivers. The circuit has been updated for this season and should suit the Porsche 99X Electric. The philosophy behind the car set-up is definitely moving in the right direction.”
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E.
“We saw at the Diriyah E-Prix that the Porsche 99X Electric is competitive and capable of mixing it with the front-runners. Over the course of the season, however, it will be important to perform consistently in qualifying and to finish in the points in every race. These factors were key to success in recent Formula E seasons. We are confident that we have both the car and the team to succeed in this regard. Despite the positive start to the season, our goals remain the same; we are striving to get the maximum out of every race.”
Since Saudi Arabia, we have had enough time to examine our processes and to improve efficiency in certain areas. We will implement the findings we made at the coming race in Chile. We want to back up the success we enjoyed at the Diriyah E-Prix. Generally speaking, top-ten finishes and points are a realistic goal.”
Road to Formula E. Porsche Newsroom Documentary Follows Team in Electric Racing Series.
A film team spent several months accompanying the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on its road to the first fully electric racing series in the world, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The fascinating documentary “Road to Formula E” is now available to view in the Porsche Newsroom (https://newsroom.porsche.com/en.html). The 26-minute video not only reviews important milestones and the successful debut at the Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), but also offers viewers new and exclusive insights into the world of Porsche Motorsport.
Success in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is not only important for Porsche motorsport, as innovation from the race track makes its way into production operations. Findings from motorsport have always had a significant influence on the sports cars of tomorrow.
The full video can be viewed at:
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“Porsche has enjoyed countless successes at race tracks around the world, not least at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. As such, we have high expectations of ourselves.”
Malte Huneke, Technical Project Leader, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“Porsche sees itself as a pioneer in sustainable sporty mobility. Battery-powered cars are currently the central issue in the automobile industry, with the goal being to reduce CO2 emissions. We are already on our way to achieving that goal.”
André Lotterer, Driver, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“Following intense preparations, we have now arrived in the first fully-electric racing series and are also playing a significant role in shaping the future of motorsport in this environment.
Neel Jani, Driver, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“We are learning all the time. Particularly when we go up against the opposition.”