TAG Heuer Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein experienced quite the rollercoaster in Season 9. After a stunning start to the season, with second place in Mexico followed by winning both races in the Diriyan desert, the German looked the easy favourite for the title. However, apart from another victory in Jakarta, Wehrlein never returned to the podium over the rest of the year.
He finished the season fourth in the World Championship with Porsche doing the same in the Teams’ standings. However, it was still his best campaign to-date and showed the world the potential that he and the team could deliver on a good day.
Speaking to Formula E ahead of Season 10, Wehrlein explains what the team have been doing since the London finale to come back stronger next year.
“I think it was a positive season,” Wehrlein begins when looking back to Season 9. “It was our best season so far in Formula E. I think after the good start we expected more than fourth in the Drivers’ and Teams’ championship. But nevertheless, it was a strong season. We have to improve a couple of things, and then we should be able to fight for the championship.”
Formula E returns to the familiar favourite Mexico City in January, a location Wehrlein knows very well. He almost won the event in Season 5 after losing the victory to Lucas di Grassi (now at ABT CUPRA) on the last lap, before getting justice and standing on the top step at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez with Porsche in Season 8. He also finished second last year, losing out to eventual Drivers’ World Champion Jake Dennis (Andretti).
“I think Mexico will be a good track for us generally, and has always been a good track. It's clear that we are quite strong in the races, we just need to fix qualifying. I think our average starting position last season was nine-point-something, whereas the top guys were six-point-something. Already those positions will make your life and your races a lot easier.
“We had some races where we struggled, especially in qualifying and only started from 15th and 17th. Those qualifyings we need to cancel. So somewhere around the top six or top seven, that should be our target. We've been working really hard to understand what it means and what it takes to qualify well, and obviously then with our great race pace we should have a good weekend.”