André Lotterer finally scored his first points of the 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season at the sixth time of asking, and the German did so with a second place finish in race two of the Valencia E-Prix.
The Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team driver’s first race in Spain was one to forget, however, as a first lap collision with Sébastien Buemi earned him a penalty, before brake issues ended his day in another clash with Edoardo Mortara.
Lotterer was happy with his one lap pace on Saturday, with Qualifying seeing him start an excellent fifth on the grid, but his first lap clash with Buemi all but ended his chances of points before his brake issues set in.
“Fifth on the grid was good,” said Lotterer. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t prevent the collision with Sébastien (Buemi) on the first lap.
“Eventually, I rejoined the race before retiring with brake troubles. Now it’s time to keep our heads up and focus on tomorrow’s race.”
It all came good, at last, for Lotterer on Sunday, with the German scoring his first points of the season by finishing on the podium in second place behind BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s Jake Dennis.
A penalty carried over from race one moved him to fifth place on the grid for race two, but this time he stayed out of trouble and was able to work his way up the order to run third on the road. He finished in that position but moved up to second when Norman Nato was handed a five-second time penalty.
“I’m thrilled with my podium placing,” said Lotterer on Sunday. “My first points at last. As a team, we deserved this result. We all work hard.
“Today we underlined that we can deliver a top performance even on a track that is somewhat atypical for Formula E. We’ve always been fast over one lap this season. This time we proved that we’re also efficient in energy management in the race.
“I really hope that we’ve now made a breakthrough.”
Pointless Weekend for Pascal Wehrlein
After a podium finish in the Rome E-Prix, Pascal Wehrlein had high hopes of a strong weekend in Valencia, but ultimately it turned into a nightmare for the German as he failed to score in either race.
Wehrlein was happy with his qualifying effort on Saturday but, like team-mate Lotterer, he suffered with braking issues that ultimately saw him retire in the pit lane before the chequered flag.
“The day actually started well,” said Wehrlein. “We were pleased with tenth in qualifying as I started in the first qualifying group. We were strong at the start of the race and I managed to gain a couple of positions.
“Towards the end, I was running in sixth place but unfortunately had to pit with brake problems. We now have to see what happened and concentrate on tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, his Sunday was not much better as he suffered with the handling of his Porsche and he could only finish down in eighteenth position. And Wehrlein hopes the team are able to work out just what went wrong in Spain ahead of the next round in Monaco.
“That was a difficult race for me,” he said. “We don’t yet know the exact reasons, so we still have to look at the data. In any case, I couldn’t really attack over the whole distance.
“I’m looking forward to being back in the fight in Monaco in less than two weeks.”