10 Jun 21

Porsche's Amiel Lindesay: “We’ve got a solid base and we're getting closer to that first win"

Heading into the second half of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Amiel Lindesay reflects on a positive opening seven rounds for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.

“We’ve shown that we can drive at the front,” said Porsche's Head of Formula E Operations in the lead-up to the Puebla E-Prix on 19 & 20 June in Mexico. “We’re on the right track, the mood in the team is very positive and everyone is highly motivated. There are a few things that we need to do better in the second half of the season and we’re working hard to make that happen.”

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Porsche sits seventh in the Teams' table, with a best result of second, taken in the second race of the Valencia E-Prix double header by Andre Lotterer. The German is down in18th in an ultra-competitive Drivers' World Championship, while teammate Pascal Wehrlein finds himself in 12th spot. A couple of podiums would swing Porsche right into a title battle, and Lindesay is happy with the base the team has laid, even if expectations haven't quite yet been met.

“We started the season well prepared and very confident. Our expectations have not yet been fully met. The two Porsche 99X Electric are fast, the processes within the team are good, and yet, due to a few unfortunate incidents on the track, we didn’t get the results we’d hoped for. Basically, everything is there to be successful, but we haven’t been able to put it all together for the first seven races.

“We’ve started from the front row, we’ve shown strong qualifying performances and we’ve also underlined that we can be at the front in the race. What we need is a clean weekend where everything comes together perfectly, from the shakedown to the race. Then the anticipated top results will come, I’m not worried about that.

“We learn things from every race and we’ve already made good progress in all important areas such as strategy, software and energy management. We know what we’re capable of, even if that’s not always reflected in the results right now. In the second half of the season, we’ll really concentrate on converting our solid quali performance into our first win.”

Andre Lotterer takes second for TAG Heuer Porsche in the 2021 Valencia E-Prix ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Learning fast

Between the season opener in Diriyah, and the trip to Puebla, the team has been hard at work and is playing catch-up on some of the rest given its relative infancy in the championship. Lindesay says Porsche is learning fast, though, and software is absolutely key to making the difference.

“Last season was short because of the pandemic. As a result, we had fewer races to achieve the level of performance that we’d set ourselves in this competitive world championship. We simply lack the racing kilometres and the experience that comes with that. Going forward, we have to do everything we can to keep both cars as far up the front as possible. That then gives us a wider range of strategic options.

“The software is definitely an important factor. This is an area that is constantly evolving and we’re investing a lot of time and energy into being at the forefront of this development. The software helps us as a team and it helps the drivers to convert expertise into performance. The whole field in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is extremely close. So it’s the small things that make the difference.”

Lindesay's mid-season report card

Lindesay feels Lotterer may have been a bit over-keen to impress so far during his time at Porsche, and he's keen to see the experienced multiple sportscar champion repeat the performance that ensured he sealed a collected Valencia podium more regularly. New signing Wehrlein gets top marks from the boss.

TAG Heuer Porsche drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

“As a team, we’re constantly working with the drivers to give them a perfect car. In the race, however, they make their own decisions, for example, how to make optimal use of the available energy. We can’t simulate things like that, so we rely on the experience and skills of our drivers.

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"Pascal has settled in well at Porsche and is feeling at home in the team. He’s a super quick qualifier and we’ve been working with him on race pace. He’s on a good path. Andre is also very quick and has a wealth of experience, however, I have the feeling he’s sometimes a little too hungry to get that first win. At Valencia, where he finished second, he drove a clever race. That’s what he needs to keep doing.”

"I hope we can soon celebrate our first win"

The return of spectators is on the Porsche boss' wishlist for the second half of the campaign, as is that so-far elusive maiden race win.

“It’d be great to have races with spectators again. Formula E offers great motorsport and the fans deserve to see the action live at the track – if the current circumstances regarding the pandemic allow.

"Of course, I also hope we can soon celebrate our first victory. The fight for the world championship is still open. We lack the points to be further up the ranking in the title race – but that’s not because we don’t have a fast car or a well-coordinated team. It’s just been incidents on the track that have set us back.

"They were tough experiences for us as a relatively new team in Formula E but now we have a more solid basis and we’re better prepared than we were at the start of the season. We want to finally win races and we’re getting closer and closer to our first victory.”