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TV Role Helped with Jani’s Formula E Preparation

Neel Jani says working as a TV pundit last season proved advantageous…

Photo: Porsche

Neel Jani says that working for a Swiss TV station during the 2018-19 season helped him and Porsche add to their knowledge bank ahead of their upcoming debut ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign.

Jani worked for the majority of last season with broadcaster MySports as a studio expert alongside starting on-track preparations with Porsche’s manufacturer test car.

The 2016 FIA World Endurance Champion was announced as Porsche’s first signing in December last year and will be joined by Andre Lotterer who was confirmed as his teammate in July.

“To be honest [the role of Formula E] TV expert is actually not bad for me, in terms of preparation, because I can see a full feed and everything as many times as I want, which I wouldn’t be able to at home,” Jani told e-racing365.

“I can zoom into anything if I want and really look closely at everything.

“I mean, it’s not the solution to everything, but it can help, and you can sometimes see tire pressures and other useful things.”

Jani detailed some specifics of what he found useful working with MySports, saying that what he learned was practically useful in conjunction with Porsche’s test program and his general preparation.

“You can see what do they have on the steering wheel, you hear [team] radio and, which on the race you cannot hear it very well, so you can really listen into it,” he said.

“Sometimes it is just interesting to hear because we have open questions and sometimes you can see that must be connected to that or that.”

Porsche unveiled the 99X Electric, its first fully electric race car, in August.

“As a team, not just me, [we’ll] try to grab everything from wherever we can because it is the first time Porsche actually enters the championship,” Jani explained.

“Eight percent of the car is the same for everyone. It’s the 20 percent that makes the difference.

“That means that it is the details which will be hyper-important.

“The details can make a big difference and so for us, and the rest of the teams, that last 20 percent is what you primarily gain from experience by driving on track and experience we cannot buy yet.”

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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