The TAG-Heuer Porsche Formula E team delivered an exceptional return by finishing on the podium in its first-ever Formula E race on Friday, according Porsche’s director of factory motorsports Pascal Zurlinden.
Andre Lotterer’s second-place finish was the best result ever achieved by a rookie team in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s five-year history.
Porsche overturned a difficult test week in Valencia last month to score the surprise result which came after Lotterer started the race from seventh on the grid.
The German finished as runner-up, just 1.3 seconds behind race winner Sam Bird.
“Our target for the weekend was just to do a perfect job, no mistakes, but we didn’t know where we were as Valencia didn’t go as we expected,” Zurlinden told e-racing365.
“We didn’t concentrate on lap times, so we couldn’t really measure us to the others. It’s more than we ever dreamed of, it’s a dream start.
“We said a podium by the end of the season was our target, and this was not a lie. Now we have it already in our first race.”
Zurlinden praised Lotterer’s performance during the race, saying that it fully justified Porsche’s targeting and acquisition of his services for its maiden campaign.
“We always said that we want a mix of someone who grew up with all the development and someone with experience, and I think this is what made us get the result today, definitely,” said Zurlinden.
Today’s result for Porsche witnessed emotional scenes in the pit box as the team celebrated the unexpected debut podium.
The celebrations extended right back to Porsche Motorsport’s base in Weissach, Germany as many employees watched the race on big screens at their headquarters.
“I think most of the people were nearly crying, because as I said at the beginning, we were just living a dream, from the board members to Fritz Enzinger to everyone involved, it was like ‘woah!’, we could do it,” said Zurlinden.
“It’s Friday. Many people are at the factory, many people were at department meetings during the race, and were watching TV!
“This is the only race on a Friday, so only chance employees can watch together! You feel all the people behind you.”