Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula E Hyderabad ePrix

From hospital to fourth - Wehrlein's rollercoaster Hyderabad FE weekend

Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein finished on the cusp of the podium in the Hyderabad E-Prix while still in pain from a terrifying Formula E crash in Friday practice.

Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Wehrlein arrived in India as the championship leader on the back of his stunning double win in Saudi Arabia, and Porsche was again considered the team to beat around the 2.8km circuit despite the expected threat from Jaguar.

But Wehrlein’s participation in the race was thrown into doubt just minutes into the start of on-track action on Friday evening, when he lost control of his Porsche and smashed the barriers at the final turn.

Such was the intensity of the impact that Wehrlein immediately had to be taken to the medical centre located trackside, before being transported to the Apollo Hospital for further checks.

The German driver didn’t leave the hospital until 11pm on Friday night and continued to report pain on race day, where he charged from 12th on the grid and 15th on the opening lap to finish in fourth place, just behind his Porsche teammate Antonio Felix da Costa.

The crash between Jaguar duo Sam Bird and Mitch Evans, which also dropped Maximilian Gunther and Sacha Fenestraz out of contention, played a role in Wehrlein’s recovery drive, but he was able to overtake a number of drivers using the superior energy efficiency of the Porsche powertrain.

After missing out on what would have been a fourth consecutive podium finish by just under a second, Wehrlein said he could be pleased with the race result given his ordeal in the preceding 24 hours.

“I'm okay, I was already feeling better but I'm okay. I'm happy about the race,” Wehrlein told Autosport.

“I didn't expect the result but I hoped for it or I believed in it. Definitely after yesterday I wasn't even sure if I could drive today. I stayed long in the hospital and I had some checks.

“Happy that everything is fine and apart from a bit of pain I'm doing well. Obviously, the mechanics did a fantastic job, they slept only one hour in the night. I didn't sleep much more.

“I think after today, we kind of paid back for us. It's fine, we can be happy and go home with a good feeling.”

Pascal Wehrlein climbs out of his damaged Porsche after a heavy crash in FP1

Pascal Wehrlein climbs out of his damaged Porsche after a heavy crash in FP1

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Speaking to German TV, he added: “I was at the hospital until 11pm yesterday, had a few more scans and a check-up because I had quite a bit of back pain. But so far everything is fine.

“Of course, I still have pain, but that doesn't matter. You don't notice it in the car. I'm going to take some painkillers now and then fly home.”

Wehrlein’s crash was later linked to a vehicle control unit issue, the root cause of which is still to be determined.

Since Porsche couldn’t immediately determine the cause of the incident while practice was still running, it elected to withdraw its other three cars from the session - including the two Andretti-run entries.

It meant Porsche went into Saturday effectively blind, with a 30-minute practice session during the morning its only chance to gather data ahead of qualifying.

But despite the lack of track time compromising their starting positions, da Costa and Wehrlein were able to bag a healthy bag of points in third and fourth respectively, with a DNF for Andretti’s Jake Dennis enabling Wehrlein to remain in the championship lead.

While not entirely happy with the performance of the Porsche package on a race weekend Jaguar seemed to be ahead of the opposition, Wehrlein felt the German manufacturer achieved the maximum that was possible in the situation.

“The positive about this weekend is that, first of all, I'm not uninjured," he said. "Second, that we scored good points. And third thing is we could extend the championship lead.

“Overall, even though it was not a perfect weekend with what happened yesterday we still made the most out of it and that's what counts.

“With the perfect day we know we can win races but when things are not going a 100% perfect we still need to score a lot of points and that's what we did today.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Bird 'let Jaguar down' in Evans FE Hyderabad clash, got attack mode 'wrong'
Next article Track limits a bone of contention in Hyderabad Formula E weekend

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe