A successful start to the Formula E season finale at the home race in Berlin saw André Lotterer (DE) secure the second spot on the podium for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team to continue his debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. At the sixth race of the season in Berlin (DE), he crossed the finish line in second place in his #36 Porsche 99X Electric. Lotterer and the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team secured the same position at the season-opener in Diriyah (SA). In the second #18 Porsche 99X Electric, Neel Jani (CH) crossed the line in 13th place, before being moved up to eleventh thanks to a penalty and a disqualification imposed on two other drivers.
Lotterer once again delivered great pace in qualifying. The Mexico City E-Prix pole-setter took to the circuit in the second start group, securing fifth place with a time of 1:07.454 minutes. That translated to Lotterer’s third consecutive participation in Super Pole. At one point during the competition for the six fastest drivers, Lotterer posted a best time of 1:07.235 minutes. He fell back to third place but that proved to be a promising starting point for the race. Jani completed his fastest lap in the fourth qualifying group, reaching 18th place in 1:08.014 minutes. The Swiss driver gained one grid position thanks to a penalty imposed on another driver.
Lotterer was able to defend third place at the start and continued to do so throughout the early stage of the race. The safety car appeared on track after an accident at the 15-minute mark. Lotterer remained in third place after the restart, only to fall back a few minutes later as he attempted to activate his ‘Attack Mode’. He managed to reclaim third place around 15 minutes before the end and held on until activating his second ‘Attack Mode’ with eight minutes remaining and falling back to fifth. Lotterer was however able regain ground, making second place his own with another overtaking manoeuvre on the final lap.
Jani remained in 17th place after the start. He gained two places for a while before falling back to 17th position. During the closing stage, he battled his way back up to cross the line in 13th and was classified in eleventh place.
Reactions to the Berlin E-Prix
Amiel Lindesay (Head of Operations Formula E): “A fantastic result. We have worked very hard over the past months and we wanted to make a strong reappearance on the racetrack. The result is superb for the entire team. We wanted to record a podium by the end of the season and managed that in the first race. It is fantastic to come back after such a long break and celebrate a podium finish right away. We can all be delighted and proud of what we have achieved. Many thanks to everyone in the team. Now we are looking forward in anticipation to the five races ahead of us.”
Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “I had hoped to make it into the top ten in qualifying, but after the first two corners, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I started the race further back and wanted to make up a few places, which I did manage to do just before the end. All in all, I am pleased with the result and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “I didn’t make a perfect start but I was able to hold my position. The pace was not so good during the first few laps so I was concentrating on defending but then I got into a good rhythm. I made a mistake when I attempted to activate my ‘Attack Mode’. I then had to hold off the cars behind me, and that was no easy task but we stayed calm as a team and were able to get everything back under control. That was also because I had a very good car. The work we put in during the racing break really paid off. It feels fantastic to reach the podium in second place and we should not forget that we are a new team. Today, we showed how strong we can be in the race. That is almost more pleasing than the result itself.”
The drivers and teams have hardly any time to relax after the sixth race of the season. The seventh race will take place at the same location, just 24 hours after the Formula E ‘restart’. Once again, drivers will be competing on the reverse layout of the regular Berlin Tempelhof Formula E circuit. They then have a rest day before races eight and nine take place on the regular Formula E circuit, before Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship concludes with another double-header on a new track layout on 12th and 13th August.