3/24/2020

Between dunes and energy management: Then things turned out differently.

It was the 2nd race of the still fresh Formula E season that took place just a day later in Riyadh – and what a race it was. The Ad-Diriyah Formula E Circuit was still sprinkled by the occasional desert sand and slippery to boot, so Day 2 was just as difficult as the previous. The result: a most eventful race.

Just how challenging the track in Saudi Arabia truly was, was proven by the increased number of accidents that occurred throughout the fast-paced and hard-fought over race. Yellow Flags, Safety Car phases and a full-course Yellow Phase increased the race’s suspense and created a challenge: Particularly the energy management was the main focus. Over and over again, sand was spattered up from the track and gave a clear message to everyone: The pace of the race was fast, nobody was willing to give an inch. As a result, there were several smaller and larger-scale accidents – and as a result, Safety Car phases. Regularly, these brought the field even closer and ruined all progress made on increasing the lead. Staying focused and keeping eyes peeled was the motto. After all, with each minute driven during the Safety Car phase, energy is deducted from the drivers. Precious energy needed to decide the race. The race instructors of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team kept a close eye on the energy budget of both Porsche 99X pilots and gave regular updates via radio, “Energy looks good, energy looks good!”

Safety Car out, speed up.

Again and again, the race pace quickly picked back up right after the Safety Car left the track and the Green Flag cleared the race. André Lotterer started the race from position 10 and defended it through long stretches. Until he found his own rhythm in this challenging race and ignored the Attack Mode. Just like on Friday he fought his way to the front, position by position, proving the full scope of his driving talents. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E pilot drove a consistent race and passed the finish line as the 6th in Riyadh. But that would not remain that way. After the race, race control opened up several investigations, resulting in penalties. One was allotted to André Lotterer: The Porsche pilot was penalized for a passing maneuver during the Safety Car phase, which took him down to position 14. His team colleague Neel Jani managed to battle his way through the positions and finished the race as number 13.

Even if the race took a different turn than expected with the penalty against Lotterer, the past days were a success for the entire TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Still, the least expected a spot on the podium for the Team from Zuffenhausen during the first race. But just as today’s race in Riyadh was concluded, the team began to miss the race atmosphere of the Formula E. Instead, the anticipation for the next race of the season is now growing. The grit both Porsche pilots have shown makes it more than clear: this was just the beginning. Now, the craving for the podium has grown beyond measure …

Share