Formula E

Porsche’s Florian Modlinger: “We must keep working hard to remain strong”

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Credit: Carl Bingham courtesy of FIA Formula E

Florian Modlinger, Team Principal of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is aware that the Germans “must keep working hard” this weekend at the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix, after the side moved to the top of the Constructors’ Championship in Hyderabad.

Porsche’s weekend in India was somewhat remarkable, given that it started in the worst way possible after Pascal Wehrlein was sent to hospital following a huge crash, as a result of VCU failure. Following the crash, the manufacturer took no further part in the weekend until Free Practice Two, meaning they lost valuable time. Remarkably, they bounced back in fine fashion, with António Félix da Costa having claimed his first podium for the team, whilst Wehrlein finished fourth.

The result saw Wehrlein extend his lead in the standings, whilst Porsche moved to the top of the Constructors’ Championship. So, how did Porsche recover from a huge setback so well? Modlinger believes the side’s “sensational” effort played a huge part.

“It was possibly due to the sensational team effort. Starting with the mechanics who rebuilt the car overnight after Pascal’s accident during the practice session, to the engineers who analysed the data and fixed the problems. And let’s not forget the drivers.

“Missing the first free practice was a clear disadvantage compared to their rivals but they made the most out of it. Pascal in particular made a huge impression with his mental grit and incredible performance on race day. I’m extremely proud of the attitude and willpower of everyone on the team.”

The leader’s showed resilience in Hyderabad, something which will support them nicely in their push for their first title in Formula E. They can’t take their foot off the gas this weekend in South Africa, though, with the team’s “incredible spirit” needing to stay in place throughout the season.

“The team has an incredible spirit and impressive tenacity,” added Modlinger. “We focussed on this pre-season, and I think we saw the result of this work in Hyderabad. To stand strong and united after such a setback and get the most out of the situation is what makes a top team.”

Up until Gen3 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Porsche had been mocked and labelled as the sport’s ‘sleeping giant’, with the team having failed to reach the heights that were anticipated. They’ve well and truly come to the party this season though, and have shown in the first-quarter of this year just what they’re capable of.

To claim both titles come the season finale, though, the side must continue to push the limits, with Modlinger being aware that “the situation can change quickly” at the top of the standings.

“We had a sensational start to the season and we’ve demonstrated that our Porsche 99X Electric is capable of winning on different racetracks. The team and drivers have maintained an incredible focus in the first four races. We must keep working hard to remain among the frontrunners in the future.

“There’s still potential in the overall package. We have to tap into that. The situation can change quickly because the learning curve with the new cars is still very steep. That’s why we must ensure that our package continues to evolve from race to race.”

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