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Porsche: Formula E Debut Success Due to LMP1 Experience

Porsche’s Fritz Enzinger puts Formula E debut success down to LMP1 hybrid experience…

Photo: Formula E

Fritz Enzinger says that Porsche’s successful start to its first ABB FIA Formula E Championship program was helped by its previous experience with the 919 Hybrid LMP1 project.

Enzinger, who serves as both Porsche’s Vice President of Motorsport and Head of Group Motorsport at Volkswagen AG, believes that Andre Lotterer’s second-place in the first round last month was possible as a result of a deep technical understanding of electrified powertrains.

“We thought at the end of the season, maybe we’d have a podium, but now in the first race, it was really good,” Enzinger told e-racing365.

“I think it was important for the whole team, showing that, ‘OK, we are in the right direction here’. You can see what it means for them, it’s everything we wanted.

“It is the same team as the 919 program and they have a lot of experience with the hybrid and it really counted.

“This is important, and you have young engineers who in the last six to eight years have experienced some of the highest levels of race cars.”

Enzinger praised the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team for its working practice and creating a workable structure in its maiden campaign.

“We have a special way that we developed the car, and it is so important to have this structure, so all the people are concentrated on this thing, and young engineers too,” he said.

“I think the difference is, normally in LMP1, one guy had one function. In this, they have more, two or three. Also for the mechanics, it’s a little bit different. So when you go with 40 in LMP1, you have around 20 here.

“It’s also a big test with just 15 days [testing], because 15 days is not enough, so it is heavy. In the last weeks, we also had a lot of sim testing that was absolutely necessary.

“This was important, also for all the ways, for example [the week before the Diriyah E-Prix], it was the whole week, five days in a simulator, because simulation is important.”

Enzinger also said he was pleasantly surprised by Lotterer’s second place result in Saudi Arabia, describing how the challenging format of Formula E’s track action had to be mastered.

“I was surprised because going in the first race, you have a podium and Andre went from seventh position to second,” he said.

“For me, it’s so different to endurance racing when you have lots of time, six hours, to now, it is 45 minutes plus one lap, and so close together so we had to be super organized for sure.”

Sam Smith is a contributor to Sportscar365. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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