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Insights from Valencia.

There were summer-like temperatures in Valencia (Spain). But we weren’t there purely for pleasure. We had a tightly-packed programme in the late summer sunshine: this year’s official test drives of all the Formula E teams for the 2019/20 season took place in Valencia – and provided valuable findings.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formual E Team underwent three days of intensive testing. After all, we were there to face our competitors for the first time under realistic conditions and gain the best possible insights into the vehicle, race proceedings and new racing series. We travelled to Valencia full of confidence – and rightly so. After all, we are no stranger to motorsport, even if this is the very first season for Porsche in the all-electric racing series. But the competition is strong in Formula E. And highly experienced. So the test days were extremely important for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formual E Team – even though, due to two accidents, they were somewhat shortened for the Porsche drivers, Neel Jani and André Lotterer.

A chicane and an opportunity.

The races of the upcoming Formula E season will pose new challenges for the team: narrow streets and tight bends – all in city centres around the world. The Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia is also a demanding course, although it differs from the complex race tracks in other cities.

Even before our time in the south, it was no secret that Formula E is an entirely new challenge: both technically and in terms of driving style, this race series differs from its sister events. To optimally simulate this, last week’s course was additionally narrowed along one straight with the help of an artificial chicane. A difficult section to drive – as our works driver, André Lotterer, discovered when he touched the wall, thereby damaging his Porsche 99X Electric. But this accident was also regarded as an opportunity: because the team was faced with an emergency and had to repair the car before it could continue. With great success, because both Porsche 99X Electrics were able to return to the track on the third day and thus continue the tests on the Friday. As is typical of Porsche, they were always thinking ahead even in Formula E: no arguments, no doubts, just total cohesion within the team.

Valuable time.

Therefore, in many ways, our days in Spain were quite meaningful: we used the time not only to test various vehicle settings, but also to jointly trial the entire race proceedings. The two drivers were able to spend as much time as possible on the track and cover many kilometres: André Lotterer completed a total of 476 kilometres over 154 laps, while Neel Jani drove 119 laps and thus around 368 kilometres on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. “It was a highly intense learning process. The race simulations were very interesting and helpful for us,” says Neel Jani, recounting his time in Valencia.

Much is new, so there are still one or two jobs to complete following the test days – it’s great that we can build on the experience of our two drivers. The data obtained in Valencia will now be evaluated in Weissach, and we will make full use of the time until the race on 22 November to undertake further improvements so that we are ideally equipped to travel to Riad. Even though the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team still has some work to do, the most important insight from Valencia is that the team is fired up for the start of the Formula E season. And this is not due to the Spanish temperatures!