Hammering home the advantage Porsche's aim in Portland

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Hammering home the advantage Porsche's aim in Portland

Long-time standings leader Pascal Wehrlein had lost top spot in the table in Monaco but stamped his authority on proceedings with a controlled Round 10 victory, leading home his closest rival Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti). That was an important result for the young German, and TAG Heuer Porsche are aiming to double down as the season heads towards its climax.


Since Wehrlein's previous win in Diriyah, he'd failed to make the podium while Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) hit a rich run of form - eventually overcoming the German in the standings with his win in Monaco. In that same spell, Wehrlein's once-large points advantage has dwindled and five, including the German, now look to be properly in the title hunt.

If Porsche are to add Formula E championships to their illustrious trophy cabinet, in their 75th anniversary no less, the team and its drivers know they must maintain podium form to outstrip those around them, with five rounds to come in Season 9. Work to learn from the first half of the campaign since that Monaco disappointment appears to be bearing fruit.

“Our strong performance in Jakarta can’t be attributed to individual parameters," says Team Principal Florian Modlinger. "We put in a brilliant team effort under extreme conditions, for which I cannot thank our team at the race track and in Weissach enough. The squad was very well prepared for this challenge. The track characteristics and the external conditions suited our car well. Qualifying was our best so far this season and this was crucial for Pascal’s incredible victory in the first race. We have to build on this performance in Portland and try to focus on extending our championship lead with another top result.”


 “Jakarta was a mega weekend for us with my win in the first race and a good harvest of points in the second event," adds Wehrlein. "This meant we regained the lead in the world championship that we lost in Monaco and it underlined that we’re still in the game, that we’re still a force to be reckoned with. The joy and relief were huge. As far as qualifying is concerned, after Monaco we analysed what went well in the first races and what we could’ve done better mid-season. We drew the right conclusions from this. We now aim to turn all of this into a top result in Portland.”

With conditions and the circuit's layout clicking for Porsche in Indonesia, the team will be hoping the Portland International Circuit's fast, flowing permanent circuit layout will provide similar comforts.

"We ticked off our normal to-do list in the simulator since Jakarta and got a good idea of how the track will feel," says Wehrlein. "I think we’ll arrive in Portland with a good baseline package and we’ll be strong there. The next few weeks will be very intense, which makes it very important for us to start the last third of the season successfully in Portland.

“The circuit is super fast. Energy management will play an important role," says Wehrlein's teammate Antonio Felix da Costa. "In terms of strategy, it certainly won’t be easy, but that said, we did well at other new race tracks this season. We climbed the podium in Hyderabad and won in Cape Town. Why should Portland be any different? I think it’s great that we’re racing in the USA again. The events there are always something special.”

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The Portuguese is a champ himself, with that stunning run in the six-race nine-day Berlin finale in Season 6 his crowning Formula E moment to-date. With the lie of the land in Season 9, he's happy to play the rear gunner role to ensure Wehrlein and the team have got the best possible chance of coming away from the inaugrual GEN3 campaign with top honours.

“I’ll support the team and Pascal as much as I can and do everything to ensure that both world championship titles go to Porsche. I’m happy to take on this role because I’m sure Pascal would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. That’s not a problem for me. This is a team sport. Our common goal is to win races and championships. That’s our job.”

The team are confident in the 99X Electric's credentials to do well here, and the team have left no stone unturned in a bid to hit the ground running at the fourth new circuit on the Season 9 calendar.

“After two thirds of the season, the field is incredibly close, especially in the Drivers’ World Championship, where Pascal leads by just one point," he says. "I’m expecting a tough battle for the title right up to the last race. But first, there’s Portland as the fourth new circuit this season.

"We’ve never raced there before and so we don’t have any relevant data. The fact that the Portland International Raceway is not a typical Formula E street circuit but a permanent racetrack that is used by the IndyCar Series, among others, makes no major difference to how we prepare. The layout looks very interesting and it brings new and exciting challenges for the entire technology package of our Porsche 99X Electric. We’ve prepared meticulously for this.”