Funny how when a major automaker like Porsche plans to swap its flagship World Endurance Championship Le Mans prototype effort for a Formula E run, Porsche’s top factory drivers keep popping up on the entry list for Formula E. This time, it’s André Lotterer, the ex-Audi LMP1 standout who seems to have gotten the hint after both of his teams closed to focus on Formula E.
Lotterer will be driving for Techeetah next year alongside ex-Formula One driver Jean-Éric Vergne, reports Autosport. He will replace Stéphane Sarrazin on the team.
It’s not a bad pick-up for Techeetah, given that Lotterer has three Le Mans wins to his name and is a prior WEC season championship. Like other endurance drivers I’ve spoken to in Formula E, Lotterer told Autosport that there’s a lot of similarities between driving in Formula E and LMP1 in terms of having to manage the energy used, and that he’s excited how the series is growing:
I’ve been on a simulator and was positively surprised: it was very interesting how you have to manage the energy - you have to be very smart about it.
The cars don’t have 1000bhp, but FE still looks very challenging on the tracks that they race on.
What it doesn’t offer in terms of speed, it offers in competition with a lot of top drivers.
It is an exciting platform with a lot of new manufacturers coming, so the level is only going to get higher.
Several of Lotterer’s ex-Audi teammates, including Lucas di Grassi and Loïc Duval, have already switched over to driving in Formula E.
That being said, Lotterer told Autosport that he would still be interested in a top-class LMP1 drive if given the opportunity:
I would like to keep challenging for victories at Le Mans.
If there is good competition in P1 next year, it is something I would like to keep doing.
Regardless, it’s a good time to be coming into Formula E, with a new car coming next season.
Gee, it’s like all of these Porsche factory hotshoes are gunning for something, but I can’t imagine what! Porsche will join Formula E not next season, but in the one after which starts in in 2019. They’re just now starting to determine how large that program will be, so it’s safe to say that their driver line-up for 2019 is nowhere near finalized.