This year the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team contests its fourth season in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Season 9 has so far brought fans of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team new faces, new races, and a brand-new vehicle – the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. Lighter and shorter than its 2022 predecessor, the 99X Electric has already displayed astonishing agility and remarkable overall efficiency, proving itself a formidable vehicle in any race location.
Mexico City opened Season 9’s race calendar, as 40,000 fans packed into and around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to watch the electric action unfold. In light of his victory there in Season 8, Mexico was a much welcome return for Pascal Wehrlein. For new driver and 2020 Formula E champion António Félix da Costa, the race marked his first with the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Both drivers secured good points, with Pascal finishing on the podium in 2nd and António in 7th.
Next was a double-header of nighttime races in Diriyah, and what a race weekend it was! Wehrlein celebrated his 50th Formula E race in style, crossing the finish line in 1st, before repeating this feat again for round 3 the very next day. In doing so, he also picked up the ‘Driver of the Race’ accolade for both races and propelled himself to the top of the Drivers’ Championship. Félix da Costa, however, had a less successful weekend, placing in 18th and 11th in rounds 2 and 3.
Round 4 in Hyderabad marked the first in a trio of new locations for Season 9. After lessons learned in previous rounds, António Félix da Costa celebrated his centenary Formula E race in fashion, picking up his debut podium as a Porsche works driver. Pascal Wehrlein also harvested strong points as he finished in 4th, meaning the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team now led the Drivers’ Championship as well as the Teams’ Championship for the first time.
The world’s first all-electric racing series then made its maiden outing in Cape Town, as the team maintained its tempo with a third victory in just five rounds; in the race’s final throes, António Félix da Costa produced an incredible overtake that will stand long in the memory of those watching, passing DS Penske driver Jean-Éric Vergne round the outside of turn eight to seal his first ever E-Prix win in Porsche colours. Despite Pascal Wehrlein retiring earlier in the race, a weekend of sunshine racing was made even more memorable with a visit to the PAVE (Porsche Aftersales Vocational Education) institute, designed to help underprivileged youth foster the skills required to thrive in a modern professional environment. It was rewarding for the team to both find out more about the scheme in-person and receive much appreciated trackside support on the day of the E-Prix.
A first Formula E appearance in Brazil rounded off the sequence of new race locations, as the Porsche 99X Electric raced through the streets of São Paulo. Félix da Costa narrowly missed out on clinching a consecutive podium result, scoring 4th, whilst Wehrlein claimed yet another ‘Driver of the Race’ award, climbing skillfully from 18th up to 7th, with further success only hampered by vehicle damage in the race’s second half. A solid race performance was accompanied by visits from some special guests; six time X-Games gold medalist and racing enthusiast Leticia Bufoni dropped in to teach the team a thing or two about balance, whilst Brazilian racing phenomenon and Porsche Penske Motorsport works driver Felipe Nasr greeted familiar faces.
Having now completed six races in five different locations, round 7 sent the team home-bound for a Berlin double-round, where the homecoming was made even warmer with visits from both German track and field star Alica Schmidt and presenter Nas Majeed. Before the weekend’s start, Majeed had also accompanied the drivers to artist Christopher Braun’s unique Experiential Light Art exhibition at the DARK MATTER museum. On race day, the drivers were unfortunately unable to make the most of the home advantage. After qualifying in 19th, António raced exceptionally into 5th place before receiving a blow to his vehicle that forced him to retire. Pascal similarly climbed well, charging from 15th to 6th and ensuring a steady return of points for the team.
Somewhat hindered by the previous day’s qualifying results, the drivers gave themselves better starting positions for the next day’s round 8 race. However, despite improved qualifying results and a Porsche 1-2 after just sixteen laps, the drivers were unable to finish on the podium in front of the home fans. Finishes in 5th and 7th for Félix da Costa and Wehrlein respectively collected more valuable points.
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E commented: “Our home races in Berlin marked a very successful end to the first half of the season. We have underlined that we’re competitive on a wide range of different circuits.” The Berlin race weekend then concluded the day after the E-Prix, as Formula E hosted its official rookie test at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit. David Beckmann and Yifei Ye tested the Porsche 99X Electric for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
With eight races complete, all eyes now lie on the prestigious Circuit de Monaco for round 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Whilst life in Formula E is never predictable, you can be sure the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is charged and ready to defend their position at the top of the Teams’ and Drivers’ standings.