Leicestershire|05 Jun, 2014

Montagny: “I’ve had a smile on my face since the first lap”

Franck Montagny is the first driver to be confirmed for the Andretti Autosport Formula E Team and we spoke with him following his first outing in the fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E…

How does it feel to be announced as a Formula E driver for the first fully-electric racing championship?
Well I’m very happy to be part of it and I’m proud to be here at the beginning of the story. It’s a new championship and it’s completely different with a unique approach to racing. It’s not only a new racing series but a new era of motorsport.

Having driven the car for the first time during the shakedown at Donington Park, what are your feelings of the car?
The car is very special and honestly I have had a smile on my face since the first lap I stepped into it and I still can’t stop. It’s good fun to drive and if I have fun inside the car I think people outside will like it.

With the different levels of power available have you had the chance to experience a variety of feedback from the car?
I’ve tried full power once on an in-lap just to get a feeling and it’s fantastic but I guess this is not the way we are going to run the race. The power is not the most important thing, we have to bring the show to the people and I think we can do that.

Looking at the calendar are there any particular circuits or locations that you look forward to?
(Grinning) All of them.

You have lots of experience driving single-seater cars including Formula One, Champ Car and IndyCar. What’s it like getting back behind the wheel of an open wheel car?
It’s quite nice to be here with the Andretti Autosport Formula E team. It’s kind of selfish but you are the only one inside the car to make decisions and say what you prefer. You don’t have to make any compromises but if you make any mistake there aren’t any solutions.

With two races in the US, both Long Beach and Miami, do you look forward to the home support racing for Andretti Autosport?
Yes, of course. I’m French but I feel at home with the Andretti team and it’s a very good family. I have worked with them since 2008, had a break but still kept in contact.

Racing purely on street circuits over a single day, what sort of challenges does that give a racing driver?
It’s quite easy, if you mess up or crash heavily in practice you have ruined the day, which means no points. You have only one chance and it will be crucial to be consistent.

You aren’t currently on social media but with the Fan Boost initiative in Formula E this year, are you considering signing-up?
Of course, it’s extra power so I’m going to take it! I’m going to make everything happen and get online as soon as I can…

For more information on Franck Montagny or the Andretti Autosport Formula E Team click here.