André Lotterer will move from recently-crowned Teams’ Champions DS Techeetah to Porsche for the 2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship, it has been confirmed.
Porsche’s announcement locks in their driver line up for their debut season in the all-electric single-seater championship, having previously confirmed Neel Jani will steer the other car.
It is not only a return to a full-time Porsche factory drive, but also a reunion with Jani for Lotterer, the pair having shared the number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Nick Tandy to fourth position in the 2017 World Endurance Championship.
That partnership ended with the conclusion of Porsche’s LMP1 program at the end of that season, at which time preparations began for the German manufacturer’s Formula E assault and Lotterer moved to Formula E for the first of two seasons with Techeetah. Lotterer and Jani continued to work together during that time, sharing one of the Rebellion LMP1 entries in all but one round of the 2018-19 WEC ‘Super Season’.
Making the announcement, Vice President Porsche Motorsport Fritz Enzinger highlighted Lotterer’s existing relationship with the team – as well as now two seasons of Formula E experience – as a welcome benefit to the program.
“Neel and André make the perfect driver pairing for Porsche’s works entry into Formula E. [André has been a Porsche works driver for three years and knows the team and Neel really well. And we can only benefit from the experience that André will bring from the past two Formula E seasons. We are looking forward to entering our maiden season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for the 2019/2020 season with this strong driver pairing.”
Understandably, Lotterer is excited to get to work with Porsche in Formula E: “I’m really looking forward to competing for Porsche in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in the 2019/2020 season, I have been part of the Porsche family since 2017 and have lots of great memories of joint successes – particularly when working with Neel. It’s great that we will now be the driver pairing for the Porsche Formula E Team. I’m looking forward to the new task and to the future collaboration with the team.”
Lotterer also reflected on his time with DS Techeetah, thanking the team with which he finished eighth in the Drivers’ standings in both his seasons with the team, including scoring two race podiums each year: “I’ve had such an amazing time with DS Techeetah and I’d like to thank each and every member of the team for the faith they put in me when I joined and for all the great work and unforgettable moments we’ve had together. After two years with the team, I was offered a new challenge that I couldn’t say no to. I wish everyone the very best and look forward to battle it out from the other side.”
Lotterer’s departure from DS Techeetah also opens what will no doubt be one of the most sought-after drives in the Formula E field for season six, the reigning Teams’ Champions now looking to fill a competitive seat alongside back-to-back Drivers’ Champion Jean-Éric Vergne.
Having finished in the top two of the Teams’ standings during Lotterer’s time with the team, DS Techteeah Team Principal Mark Preston thanked the German for his efforts with the team.
“Until this season where we’ve been reinforced by our colleagues at DS Automobiles, we’ve been an incredibly small team where it has been instrumental for all team members to go the extra mile, including our drivers and André has really put this into effect. So for that, together with the points he has racked up with us to win the Teams’ Championship this year, and almost clinched last year, we’d like to say thanks to André for this time and wish him the best of luck with his new pursuit.”
The announcement of Lotterer’s drive ends speculation of Brendan Hartley racing for Porsche in Formula E next season. Also a former member of Porsche’s LMP1 squad, the Kiwi retained his links with the Stuttgart squad during his time with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula 1, and has been working alongside Jani as a development driver for Porsche Formula E to date this year.
The 2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship is set to begin with a double-header event in Al Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on November 22-23.
Image via Porsche