Lotterer says breakthrough result ‘a big deal’


Credit: Formula E

Andre Lotterer said that his second place in the Santiago ePrix was significant after he endured a poor start to his Formula E career.

While his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne has been challenging at the top of the championship Lotterer had struggled, and was yet to score a point going into the weekend.

He set the pace in the first section of qualifying however, and although he crashed on his super pole lap, he was fast again in the race and seemed to have the speed to win.

In the end he lost out to Vergne after a titanic battle, but said that the result was important and showed that he was starting to understand the series more.

He told Autosport, “It is a big deal because it’s not a championship where you can risk so much to build up your confidence, build up your speed,”

“If you make a mistake, you bomb it in the wall.

“It kind of clicked and I feel that was a big step. I understand a lot more how to race these cars.”

Lotterer also said he was surprised by the incident where he ran into the back of Vergne, saying that his Techeetah team-mate had defended ‘aggressively’, although he admitted he was hesitant to take on the move given that Vergne was challenging for the lead of the driver’s championship.

“I was very surprised. I was quite confident with the speed I had that I should be able to pass him comfortably,” Lotterer said.

“But he’s my team-mate, he’s got quite good points in the championship, it’s a bit mixed feelings: I was like, ‘Aaaargh, I have so much speed’.

“I wanted to understand where I could make a safe move, and [Turn 3] was the place for me. He defended really aggressively, I couldn’t avoid the collision, there was too much speed difference.

“Luckily we could stop the car and make the corner.”

Vergne for his part said that his team-mate was able to get so close to him as he thought he was having to save an extra lap of energy, and that a radio fault meant that his team weren’t able to correct him.

“We didn’t have the same weapons to fight,” he said.

“Then I was pushing very hard in the corners, nearly hit the wall twice.

“He tried to attack me on the outside, flat out, and I was thinking there was no way he would finish the race, but actually I was saving one more lap than him.”