Andre Lotterer says that hard work and patience was the key to improving his performance over the course of his maiden ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.
The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner joined Techeetah as teammate to Jean-Eric Vergne and initially struggled to adapt to the series following limited track time in pre-season testing due to the Chinese operation’s status as a customer team.
Lotterer’s breakthrough came at the Santiago E-Prix in February with a second-place finish after a disqualification, a retirement and a non-points-paying result got his season off to a difficult start in Hong Kong and Marrakesh.
“At the beginning in Valencia I honestly didn’t know how I was going to do it because it all seemed so far away from what I was used to,” he told e-racing365.
“Then it clicked really in Santiago but I still needed more information that it wasn’t just a lucky lap. That came and meant it proved I could really do it, but it took hard work and a lot of patience.”
His improvement in Chile was followed up by another podium in Rome and six consecutive top-ten finishes in the second half of the season.
He also made several appearances in Super Pole sessions, all of which has given him added confidence heading into his second season with the new-look DS Techeetah squad.
“My approach is really different now going into Season Five,” he explained. “I am much more confident now but it hasn’t been easy.
“But, I stayed calm, worked hard and spent a lot of days with the team in the simulator.”
“Sink or Swim” Street Racing “Suits” Lotterer
Lotterer had little street circuit experience to call upon when he made his debut in December, with just a single Formula 3 race at Pau in 2000 his only experience of inner-city racing.
Nevertheless, he reckons he has been able to adapt to the different style quickly and says he enjoys the unique opportunity that Formula E presents.
“I really like racing on street tracks; it gives me a kick, especially in qualifying,” he said. “This is the thrill of Formula E and I think next season it will be even more of a challenge for sure.
“I wasn’t that comfortable on the tracks at the beginning of the year but then it became completely natural quite quickly and it is fun to push with these very narrow margins.”
“I don’t feel my lack of races on street circuits was a big deal to be honest because you have to adapt so quickly on them anyway. It is sink or swim and I think this racing suits me too.”