until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Why Andretti hasn’t announced its new Formula E debutant yet

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The replacement for Andre Lotterer at the Jakarta E-Prix is set to be decided in the coming days with David Beckmann still the strong favourite to take the seat and make his Formula E debut.

Avalanche Andretti tested Red Bull protege Zane Maloney and Indy Light champion Linus Lundqvist, while its manufacturer team Porsche ran Beckmann and sportscar ace Yifei Ye.

With Maloney committed to Formula 2 at Barcelona for the Jakarta weekend and Ye having to attend the Le Mans test day in the new Jota Porsche Hypercar, the seat appears to be a straight choice between Beckmann and Lundqvist.

Beckmann has been the overwhelming favourite for the drive but the decision is still to be completed, with team principal Roger Griffiths set to confer with team owner Michael Andretti in the coming days to decide on Lotterer’s replacement.

Beckmann is well-known to the team after working with them as an official reserve last season. He then switched to Porsche ahead of the 2022-23 campaign and has tested the Gen3 car on several occasions now.

“David, obviously, is the official reserve and test driver (for Porsche) and he’s the most natural fit if you like, but at the end of the day we need to look at what’s the right thing for us to do,” Griffiths told The Race.

Formula E Berlin Rookie Test

“We’ve got a lot of things to talk about, a lot of evaluating to do. We also have to look at availability and all that. It’s not quite as straightforward as you might think; we’ve got to talk to Porsche about how we want to progress.

“I’m not saying that I’m no closer to making a decision, I’ve got a lot more information than I had on Friday when we last spoke.

“I’ve already been talking to Michael [Andretti] about what his thoughts are because, ultimately, he runs the team, he makes that final decision. I can only provide my opinion.”

Lundqvist is technically an option for Andretti but was outpaced by Beckmann, Maloney and Ye at the Berlin test last week.

However, Griffiths contextualised the running for the Swede, saying that the lack of an outright quick time from Lundqvist, who ended the session 15th, was “a little bit on us to be honest; we didn’t maximise the opportunity he had on the quick lap he did, so no fault of his own.

“I mean he’s a few tenths off but, for me it wasn’t about lap time; we know that they’re both very quick drivers, we know that they’re both capable so we anticipated that they were going to do well,” Griffiths said.

“It was really about understanding more about the car and getting two other drivers’ perspectives on what Jake and Andre have been saying. To be honest, it was an extremely strong alignment with what Jake and Andre have been saying and how things have gone, so it’s been a very positive day for us.”

Both Jake Dennis and Andre Lotterer attended the rookie test and are believed to be part of the initial consultation on who should be part of the team for Jakarta.

Lotterer has a one-year deal with Avalanche Andretti and the current season is likely to be his last in Formula E after six seasons with Techeetah, DS Techeetah, Porsche and Andretti.

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