until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

How Lotterer will tackle racing his other bosses in 2023

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

There was a point earlier in 2022 when Andre Lotterer looked like he’d be exiting not just the Porsche Formula E team but the championship itself come the end of the season.

That he has a seat for 2023, with the Andretti team that’s partnered with Porsche, is testament not only to the strength of a relationship that first started in 2017 and has been unbroken since 2019, but also the value a driver who remains without a headline victory to shout about in Formula E can offer heading into the Gen3 era.

Lotterer raced for Porsche in the World Endurance Championship in 2017 – a role he is likely to reprise next year when he drives the new 963 LMDh as part of the manufacturer’s roster of WEC and IMSA SportsCar Championship drivers – and, following two seasons at Techeetah, was picked for Porsche’s first venture into Formula E in 2019.

His 2023 endurance racing programme ensures he retains a link with Porsche beyond the customer deal Andretti has. But, despite that, Lotterer says dovetailing those efforts will not affect his overall approach to racing his manufacturer employer hard.

Having initially been set to race only in sportscars, the three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner was essentially placed at Andretti to help accelerate the development of the new Gen3 car while offering the US team a more consistently competitive team-mate for Jake Dennis.

A driver with one of the best qualifying and podium strike-rates in Formula E, Lotterer has had several test days with the Porsche Gen3 development car in recent months and like Dennis has spent time with the factory Porsche squad.

While his factory status within Porsche’s LMDh programme – which is due to kick off at the Daytona 24 Hours next month – could bring some awkward on-track moments in the coming Formula E season, Lotterer is not overly concerned by the prospect of going wheel-to-wheel with his replacement Antonio Felix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein.

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“Once the race starts going I don’t think I or they will look at it and we see everyone as a competitor,” Lotterer told The Race.

“You have to keep the respect between everyone and avoid contact. For sure to maybe be a little extra careful, because it’s still my employer in the endurance programme, and we are also trying to help each other.”

Lotterer also said that Porsche and Andretti have elected to pursue a strong development process together but said that while there is “an exchange in knowledge and data of course” he was not sure “if you can call it a four-car team”.

“So hopefully, we won’t run into any difficult situations, but it always takes two you know, so let’s see,” he said.

“First, we, we need to focus on being at the top and then [establish] if you can fight at the top. It’s something nice if you can be there but if you’re getting into arguments for 15th that’s not really necessary.”

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Lotterer experienced a mixed bag in pre-season testing at Valencia; he had accrued the third-most laps of all before the final day, but was then one of only three drivers who did not exceed 40 laps on Friday’s last day of running.

He also pitted from Formula E’s mock ‘race’ on Wednesday afternoon with a brake-by-wire system issue, though he was able to get going again and was classified in 18th position after completing 19 of the 25 laps.

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