The return of Formula E to Marrakech did not result in the desired success for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team. Despite intensive preparation of the Porsche 99X Electric race cars on the highly challenging street circuit and a strong performance by Pascal Wehrlein (GER/No. 94) in qualifying, the team from Weissach failed to score points in round 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season.In the heat at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan Pascal Wehrlein finished 12th with temperatures of almost 35 degrees celsius. His teammate André Lotterer (GER/No. 36), who had to start the race from the last position on the grid, made up seven places to finish in 15th place.
In the drivers’ classification of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, André Lotterer ranks ninth after 10 of 16 races with 61 points. After a further review by the FIA, his five-second penalty from the Jakarta E-Prix was overturned in Marrakesh. Andre and the team regained ninth place – with two championship points each. Pascal Wehrlein is 10th with 55 points. In the team classification, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team lies in fifth place with 114 points.
Pascal Wehrlein made it into the semi-finals with a strong performance in the qualifying duels and started the 2.971-kilometre race at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan in fourth place. Unfortunately, he lost positions in the first laps and dropped back to 18th place in the course of the race before making up positions in the final phase of the race. André Lotterer had to start from the back row. This was due to a technical issue with a sensor – he was only able to leave the pits after the start of qualifying and thus could not complete his first timed lap within the six minutes after the start of qualifying as required by the regulations. He then crossed the finish line four hundredths of a second too late. As a result, all his qualifying times were cancelled. In the race, Andre improved by seven positions with some good overtaking maneuvers.
Comments on the Marrakesh E-Prix, Race 10
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “In qualifying, we had a problem with André’s car that we couldn’t fix quickly enough. In the end, he was four hundredths of a second too late, so all his qualifying laps were cancelled. He had to start from the back as a result and had a difficult race. Although he improved seven positions, which was a good performance, he did not come close to the points. We cannot be satisfied with that. For Pascal, qualifying went very well. He made it into the duels and from there into the semifinals. But at the race start he got away badly because he lacked significant power at the start and on the first lap. The reason for this was that his car was switched off for longer than usual on the grid. This caused the battery temperature model to reinitialize. This meant that he did not have full power available on the first lap. The prediction of the battery temperature for the end of the race was also no longer correct and was much too high. We had to take various countermeasures to lower the value. As a result, we didn’t have the necessary pace. Our goal now has to be to bring the full potential of our cars back on track at the upcoming hot races in New York City.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver (#94): “The day started well with my fourth place in qualifying. In the race, I lost power and many places right after the start. After the good qualifying, we had, of course, hoped for more. It’s a shame that we didn’t make it to the top again. Now I hope that we will find our old strength again in the next races.”
André Lotterer, Porsche works driver (#36): “It was not a good weekend for me. From the first free practice, I had many minor problems, and qualifying didn’t go well for me. The race was difficult. I could make up many positions, but at the same time, I had to keep an eye on the temperatures. We were on the conservative side and had a lot of energy left in the last two laps. But by then, it was too late for further attacks, and we couldn’t score any points.”
The next event for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is the New York City E-Prix double-header, rounds 11 and 12 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship on 16 and 17 July.
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