Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein has mixed feelings about the 2022 Formula E season: “Pace was there most of the time, but … “
The Porsche works team only finished the past 2022 Formula E World Championship season in seventh place in the team standings, despite one win this season.
Apart from the Mexican E-Prix in February, where Pascal Wehrlein and team-mate Andre Lotterer scored a double victory, neither of the two Porsche drivers managed another podium finish during the season.
Porsche made the breakthrough in the form of its first victory in Mexico City thanks to a clever race strategy. By deliberately saving energy in the early stages, the race went one lap longer than many of the competitors had anticipated. The result: while many other teams literally ran out of juice, Wehrlein and Lotterer finished in P1 and P2.
After the one-two punch in Mexico, however, Porsche didn’t manage much more. At the Monaco E-Prix, Wehrlein retired while leading due to a technical problem with the electric drive train. Team-mate Lotterer was stranded there just a few minutes later due to a collision.
Porsche slump began in Monaco
“I think we dropped a lot of points,” Wehrlein summed up the 2022 Formula E season for Porsche to ‘Autosport’. “From a feeling point of view, it started in Monaco, where I had to retire after nothing worked while I was in the lead. “
“After we changed the part of the car that was responsible for it, there was a penalty,” said Wehrlein. The Porsche driver is referring to a demotion of five grid positions for the Indonesian E-Prix in Jakarta. Incidentally, the part responsible for the Monaco failure was a defective voltage transformer.
But that was not enough. “The pace was mostly there, but then we had a problem in Marrakech when the race from fourth on the grid went pretty wrong,” Wehrlein recalls of the Moroccan E-Prix. There, the Porsche 9XX Electric switched to the wrong mode at the start, which meant that Wehrlein did not have full power available in the race. He finished outside the points in P12.
2023: Porsche works team with Felix da Costa instead of Lotterer
Wehrlein’s best result of the season apart from the Mexico win was P6 twice (Rome and Berlin). Lotterer’s best result apart from P2 in Mexico City was P4 three times (Riyadh, Rome and Berlin). Wehrlein concludes: “The bottom line is that we didn’t score the points we deserved. The second half of the season wasn’t great in terms of results.”
For the 2023 Formula E season – the first of the Gen3 era – Wehrlein will remain with the Porsche works team, while Lotterer will move to the new Andretti-Porsche customer team. His place as Wehrlein’s teammate will be taken by former champion Antonio Felix da Costa, who has left DS-Techeetah after three seasons.
Formula E is not the only racing series in which Porsche will be involved in 2023. It also has a prominent presence in the endurance scene. The programme includes both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American Endurance Championship (IMSA). In both racing series, Team Penske, which is responsible for the Porsche factory entry, will field two of the brand new Porsche 963 LMDh cars.
Lotterer has already been confirmed as one of the regular drivers in the Porsche 963. Wehrlein recently tested the car and can hope to get one of the cockpits still available. If that happens, both would complete a double programme of LMDh and Formula E in 2023. For Lotterer, such a double programme is already certain.