Lotterer: Techeetah's rivals have similar speed

Lotterer: Techeetah's rivals have similar speed
By AutoSport

05/01/2019 at 22:46

Andre Lotterer does not think his DS Techeetah team is significantly faster than its ABB FIA Formula E rivals, despite its pace advantage in the Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

Lotterer and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne started last month's season opener in Saudi Arabia from seventh and fifth respectively, but quickly carved their way through the field in Techeetah's first race with manufacturer DS.

The pair were on course for a one-two finish until they were both handed drivethrough penalties for exceeding maximum power output while using regen.

But Vergne still recovered to second and, with Lotterer finishing fifth, Techeetah leads the teams' standings while some of its bigger manufacturer rivals - including Audi and the Nissan e.dams squad - struggled.

"We were [the fastest]," Lotterer told Autosport.

"[But] I don't know about Marrakech [next weekend's second round of the season] - no one is sleeping, everyone will learn a lot about their cars, their race, their everything and they will improve. So will we.

"I don't think we have the revolutionary package.

"When I was driving around other cars, there was similar power and similar style, so I think everyone is pretty much up there, it's just [about] getting all the bits together."

Unexpected rain on the Saturday morning of the Ad Diriyah event meant no dry running took place prior to the race.

BMW's pre-season testing pacesetter Antonio Felix da Costa won the race from pole and talked up Techeetah's pace, but Lotterer said the rain made it harder to determine the competitive order.

"It was hard to see the real package performance because the track, the whole condition of the day was a bit more random," he added.

"I think both JEV [team-mate Vergne] and me were well prepared for this track, so I don't know what made the difference."