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Jani: 919 Hybrid Work Helped Secure FE Role

Neel Jani says his work with Porsche’s LMP1 car helped him secure Formula E drive…

Photo: Porsche

Neel Jani believes his early development work with Porsche’s 919 Hybrid LMP1 project helped secure his new ABB FIA Formula E Championship drive.

Jani, who was named last month as the German manufacturer’s first Formula E driver, was a key part of the LMP1 program after being signed by the manufacturer in late 2012.

While Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas were the first drivers to contribute to the development of the car, Jani was instrumental in helping iron out early issues associated with its engine vibration issue which eventually saw a re-design for its breakout season in 2014.

“I think obviously the fact that I was there from the start with the 919 program helped me a bit to be honest [to secure the Formula E seat],” Jani told e-racing365.

“I’m here in this project now from hour zero and I know most of the guys in the engineering and development teams so it is like the next family project really, which is nice.”

Porsche is targeting an early March first track test for its development Formula E car, ahead of its debut at the start of Season Six likely in December.

It will receive its chassis this week from Spark Technologies before it undertakes more bench testing of its powertrain ahead of the assembly process.

“Clearly we cannot run immediately as we will only receive the car in January that we can test with,” said Jani.

“So it will take some time to get things together and get up to speed.

“Sim work is vital these days, especially in Formula E having so little track time so that is my main working field now until we can hit the track.”

Porsche is likely to use its own Weissach test and proving ground facility for the first run of the car.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. 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 Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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