Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Pascal Wehrlein insists Porsche must ‘focus on our strong points’

Pascal Wehrlein is no longer the leader of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, after enduring a miserable day at the Monaco E-Prix. Wehrlein won’t be remembering last Saturday anytime soon, with the German having salvaged just one-point from the famous Circuit de Monaco.

Having led the standings since the second race in Diriyah, the pressure is very much now on Wehrlein to bounce back in Jakarta, following a few disappointing races. Monaco was nothing short of a disaster, with the German having qualified twelfth for the ninth round of the season. Unlike in most races this season, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver struggled to make any progress through the field, with him having sat outside the points right until the end.

Wehrlein actually crossed the line in eleventh but was promoted to tenth after the race, following a five-second time penalty for Sam Bird. As a result of his second worst performance of the season, Wehrlein slipped to second in the standings, where he now sits twenty points behind Nick Cassidy.

The former championship leader admitted after the race that himself and the team had “hoped for better” given the strength of their car; however, he stressed that they now must “focus on our strong points” in order to get back amongst the title fight.

“As expected, it was a tough race. We’d hoped for better in Monaco and we’re disappointed not to have been able to showcase the true potential of our car. We now have to focus on our strong points and regain the performance that we’ve demonstrated so often this year. The second half of the season has only just begun.

“There are still a lot of races and a lot of points to be won. We’ll work hard and I’m confident that we’ll achieve better results again in the upcoming races.”

“I got hit and had to pit for a new right rear” – António Félix da Costa

On the other side of the Porsche garage and it was an even more miserable day for António Félix da Costa, who could only manage sixteenth.

Like his team-mate, Da Costa experienced a nightmare in qualifying, with the Portuguese driver having claimed nineteenth on the grid following an error in his group. Despite this, the Season Six Champion was able to make great progress during the race and did get himself amongst the points, until he was hit from behind.

The incident caused an immediate right right puncture for the Porsche driver, forcing him into the pits for a new tyre. Had it not been for the puncture, then Da Costa is certain he could’ve finished amongst the top five, rather than sixteenth.

His unfortunate result has arguably ruled him out of title contention as well, given that he finds himself fifty-three points behind Cassidy. Da Costa was disappointed with the outcome of his weekend especially given how positive the first half of the season was for the team, with the focus now being on bouncing back in the coming races.

“After going from strength to strength during the first half of the season, we travelled to Monaco with high expectations. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fulfil these. We’ve had a tough day. I made a mistake in qualifying and subsequently had to start from far down the grid. In the race, I made up positions from lap to lap and had my sights set on a top-five result when I got hit and had to pit for a new right rear tyre.

“That was the end of my race. But we’ll come up with further opportunities that we can hopefully take advantage of.”

Credit: TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
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