Heading into the second half of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Amiel Lindesay draws a positive mid-season balance for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. “We’ve shown that we can drive at the front,” said the Head of Operations Formula E in the lead-up to the Puebla E-Prix on 19 and 20 June in Mexico. “We’re on the right track. The mood in the team is very positive, 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.”
Amiel, in Porsche’s second Formula E season, seven of the 15 races have been contested. How do you rate the performance in the first half of the season?
“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.”
Third in Rome, second at Valencia – what’s needed to achieve the first win after these great results?
“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.”
What is the most important thing the team has learned in the first half of the season?
“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.”
What is different compared to last season and what needs working on for the upcoming races?
“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.”
You can’t change the hardware, or in other words, the powertrain, which makes the software all the more important. What role does software play?
“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. The software is a huge part of this.”
And the drivers? How do you rate the achievements of Pascal Wehrlein and André Lotterer?
“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. 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. André 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.”
What are your wishes for the second half of the season?
“It’d be great to have races with spectators again. The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship 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.”