Lotterer: Porsche's second-year LMP1 success tough to repeat in FE

Andre Lotterer says the limited scope of development in Formula E will make it harder for Porsche to replicate the success of its sophomore campaign in the World Endurance Championship

Lotterer: Porsche's second-year LMP1 success tough to repeat in FE

Porsche won both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC LMP1 title in 2015, its second year of competition with the 919 Hybrid, and remained unbeaten on both fronts until it pulled out of the category two years later.

Expectations are high for Porsche in 2021 after Lotterer scored two podiums in its rookie FE season last year, and its prospects for this season have been boosted further by the addition of former Mahindra Racing star Pascal Wehrlein.

But Lotterer feels it won't be so easy for Porsche to ascend the pecking order in 2021, citing the similarities in powertrain hardware across the pack. By contrast, LMP1 regulations allowed for differentiation between Porsche's lithium-ion battery, Audi's flywheel storage system and Toyota's supercapacitor design during the early years of their three-way rivalry.

PLUS: How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

"Formula E is a different story [to WEC] because there is much less difference in the hardware," Lotterer told Autosport.

"In the WEC, the different manufacturers had different concepts and this had quite a big influence on the performance.

"Here, it's just small differences [that matter] on the powertrain and the inverter, the software and car set-up. The less opportunity you have to make the difference with hardware, the more you have to go into details, and the more the details matter.

"That's where Formula E is so challenging, because every team is pushing so far into the details. And even though the gains are marginal, they can give you the edge.

"If we can tick off all the details that we have to catch up with against the other teams, then we can focus on really making them better than the others. So we'll have to see where we are."

PLUS: Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

Lotterer has completed three full seasons in Formula E - the first two with Techeetah prior to his move to the new Porsche FE team for 2019-20 - but is yet to register his first win in the series.

He led the majority of the 2019 Hong Kong race, but suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap after being hit by the Envision Virgin car of Sam Bird.

While eager to break his duck in 2021, having racked up five second-place finishes and two poles, Lotterer says he feels that a lack of FE victories so far doesn't reflect negatively on his performances in the all-electric series.

"I always look at my own performance and there have been some really good ones, even though they weren't wins," he said.

"I picked a challenging route as well by coming into a new team [and leaving DS Techeetah], and it takes a bit of patience in the first year. And I still had a couple of chances to score a win. It should have happened in Hong Kong [in 2019].

"I think what we achieved last year was pretty good, so we just need to go one step better this year."

shares
comments
Current Affairs Podcast: The 2021 Formula E season preview
Previous article

Current Affairs Podcast: The 2021 Formula E season preview

Next article

Rating the prospects of Formula E's bumper rookie crop

Rating the prospects of Formula E's bumper rookie crop
Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher Plus

Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher

Formula E’s unplanned return to Marrakech provided teams with a fresh challenge in old but familiar surroundings, as Edoardo Mortara kept his cool in melting conditions to triumph and retake the championship lead

Formula E
Jul 4, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Plus

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner Plus

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E front-runner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Brit

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Plus

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Plus

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity Plus

Why spanning different genres has lent Lotterer's career longevity

Although now well into his 24th consecutive season in racing, Andre Lotterer has no intention of winding his career down. Here he talks to Autosport about his and Porsche's continued progress in Formula E, his love for racing in Japan, and recalls his sole Formula 1 outing - and considers what's next in his lengthy career

Formula E
Apr 27, 2022