It was an impressive start to the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the Gen3 era for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, with Pascal Wehrlein having claimed second place in Mexico City; however, Team Principal Florian Modlinger has warned that it’s “still early days”.
Second for Wehrlein and seventh for António Félix da Costa on his Porsche debut was a very strong start to the season for the German manufacturer, who look set to have finally woken up in all-electric series. Porsche’s powertrain looked very impressive, with three Porsche-powered cars having finished in the top four. Modlinger is certain, though, that the car “still has a lot of potential”, which he wants to see unlocked by the team.
“The team and the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 experienced a strong start to the season. We secured our first podium result and both cars earned points. The implementation and execution of the race weekend went very smoothly. Our processes worked well. It was a shame that Antonio missed out on the duel stage by just two-thousandths of a second. It’s still early days with the Gen3, so the car still has a lot of potential. We now need to tap this step by step.”
This weekend’s Diriyah E-Prix presents Porsche with a very different challenge, with the Riyadh Street Circuit being one of the toughest on the calendar. The track is typically dusty and cold, and that’s without even taking into consideration how tight and twisty it is. Should Porsche replicate their Mexico City performance in Diriyah this weekend, then they may find themselves labelled as title favourites.
Modlinger is aware that “fractions of seconds” will “make all the difference” this weekend, with the team boss having emphasised on not making “any mistakes”.
“The performance in Mexico was right. It was extremely close with five cars within a tenth of a second. The night races in Diriyah with completely different track characteristics pose a new challenge. The performance of individual teams might look very different there. We can only be sure of one thing: fractions of seconds can again make all the difference in Diriyah. Our goal is clear: again we don’t want to make any mistakes and again we aim to get the most out of our cars to fight for top results.”