Porsche puts in a strong showing at the Formula E opener in Saudi Arabia

<i>Image: Porsche</i>
<i>Image: Porsche</i>

It has been a great start to the season for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team in the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. 

At the Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Porsche works driver André Lotterer was second with his #36 Porsche 99X Electric in the first race of the season.

Battle for the podium

The three-time winner of the Le Mans 24-hour race and 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) champion began the race around the 2.494-kilometre circuit to the northwest of the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, from seventh place on the grid.

READ | First Saudi woman driver, Reema Juffali, to race car in kingdom

He gradually worked his way up through the field to secure second place on lap 30, behind winner Sam Bird (GB, Envision Virgin Racing).

This means that Lotterer also has 18 points in the drivers’ standings after the first race of the season, putting him in second place behind Bird (26 points).

Porsche Formula E

                                                                     Image: Porsche

"A great debut for all of us: second place. When I told the team a few weeks back that I wanted to reach the podium, they all looked at me like I was mad. And now we've done it with hard work and a bit of luck. Qualifying went OK and we finished seventh," Lotterer added.

Tightly contested

"I started the race quietly enough, paid attention to my energy management and was able to use 'Attack Mode' early to get past a few other cars. At the end, I thought we were even in with a chance of winning the race, but I didn’t want to take too many risks. Starting off with a second-place finish isn't too bad," he added.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is currently in third place in the team standings, behind Envision Racing (36) and Mercedes-Benz (23).

Lotterer’s team-mate Neel Jani finished in 17th place in the #18 Porsche 99X Electric, having been forced to start the race from 20th on the grid after a yellow-flag phase at the end of qualifying.

Porsche Formula E Team

                                                                         Image: Porsche

"Firstly, congratulations to André and the whole team. Reaching the podium in our first race shows that we have done some good development work. Qualifying was not ideal for me and I had to start the race from way back. However, I had found the right pace and rhythm by the middle of the race. I will build on that tomorrow," says Neel Jani.

The second race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will take place tomorrow (Saturday 23rd November) on the Diriyah Street Circuit.

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