Andre Lotterer thinks his experience with Audi and Porsche in endurance racing will be beneficial as he learns the intricacies of racing in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Lotterer, who was confirmed at Techeetah as teammate to Jean-Eric Vergne on Monday, will employ a step-by-step approach to his first full single-seater campaign outside of Japan since 2001.
The current Porsche LMP1 driver believes that his expertise in developing and racing with complex energy harvesting systems will be helpful as he enters in to his new challenge with Techeetah.
“I’ve heard from a few drivers over the years what these cars are like to drive,” Lotterer told e-racing365. “Friends like Lucas [Di Grassi] describe how it is, so you hear a lot about it.
“I have to go step-by-step. I need to try things out in the simulator more. I have only had one session in it so far and my first track time will be at Valencia.”
Lotterer started working with hybrid technology at Audi in 2012, and was renowned as not only one of the quickest, but also one of the most adept at understanding the variety of complex systems which were part of the the German manufacturer’s LMP1 package.
“The ideas are similar [than in LMP1] but of course it is also not comparable in a lot of aspects, but in LMP1 you have a lot more info from telemetry, etc,” he said.
“The driver plays a much more important role in Formula E it seems because there are less data and systems engineers.
“With my WEC experience, with Audi and Porsche, I have a lot of experience in energy management and have to achieve good economy.
“We try to find new tricks driving in this style of racing. I think I can bring some good knowledge and resources to Formula E.”
Meanwhile, Ivan Yim, the Managing Director of Techeetah, believes Lotterer will play a key part in the development of the Chinese-owned team.
“With only three test days available to us as a private team, we’ll be looking to Andre to adapt quickly to the format and car,” said Yim
“The intent is clear; we’re putting a quick driver together with the team’s proven Renault Sport powertrain.
“With the all-new Season Five car on the horizon, we are confident that Season Four will assist Andre in being well prepared along with Jean-Eric to mount a solid challenge for the Championship.”
Lack of Street Racing Not a Concern
While Lotterer has enjoyed a stellar career in endurance racing and Formula Nippon/Super Formula, he has a surprising lack of experience on street circuits.
The last time he raced on one was at the 2000 FIA European F3 Cup at Pau.
“To be honest I haven’t thought too much about that,” Lotterer said. “Street racing is fully part of Formula E.
“I have actually only driven at Pau really in terms of a real street circuit. So this is the only reference, but tracks like Sugo where I raced last week in Super Formula, they almost feel like a street circuit as there is no room for error.
“I will make the most out of it and hopefully can be strong from an early stage on the street tracks. I don’t see it being an issue as it is the same track for everyone.”