Pascal Wehrlein ahead of the home race in Berlin: “Formula E is extremely competitive” – ​​Sport

Mr. Wehrlein, the Berlin E-Prix will not officially start until Saturday. But before that, another top model from Germany will take place at the World Cup. As part of the photo shoot, the models will show their interpretation of sustainability against the backdrop of the Formula E. What do you think of the sports cars used as a staffage??
I didn’t know that (laughs) But it’s a special feature in the paddock.

Has Formula E finally hit the mainstream?
Overall, I think Formula E is getting more and more popular. Thanks to electromobility, we represent the sport of the future and we are heading in the direction that manufacturers are also planning in the future. That is why the series is becoming more and more known, also in the mainstream.

Have you ever modeled yourself?
No, not really. Although yes. I was at photo sessions. It’s part of the job. The only thing I missed was a catwalk or a fashion show.

Are you used to Formula E or do you want to go back to Formula 1 or DTM?
I have adapted very well to Formula E and I am having a great time there, especially now that we are doing really well in terms of performance. We are a bit unlucky at the moment, but it’s actually a good season and for me personally, the most important thing is that I feel comfortable on the team.

You mean the last race in Monaco, where you were first and then had to retire due to technical problems …
Exactly, I couldn’t finish the race. At least we won the race in Mexico. Monaco would probably be a second, but technology has thrown the key into the works.

Now the Berlin E-Prix is ​​approaching. What’s special about the Tempelhof track?
Honestly, it’s not my favorite track. It is a very flat route as it is at the airport and there are few ascents and descents. This is not your typical Formula E city circuit. Nevertheless, it is the highlight of this year.

Also because it is a home race.
Yes, this is something special for both me and the entire team. As a German team we are really looking forward to racing on German soil. Most of the fans in other countries don’t speak our language, this time it’s different. For me, family and friends will be there, especially those who don’t usually get to races by plane. You can go to Berlin – Porsche Taycan of course (laughs). This is much closer and correspondingly more comfortable. I am sure that we will get a lot of support and give the viewers a real show.

Is there such a thing as the advantage of your own home?
No (laughs). We couldn’t test the track as it was set up just a few days before the race and taken down shortly after. Nobody has been there since last year when we were in Berlin.

Formula E races are held all over the world, including in Monaco.Photo: IMAGO / Andreas Beil

You are currently in 7th place. What are you counting on since the weekend?
We want to continue where we were in Monaco and race well. Formula E is extremely competitive. You can’t win every race, we’re all very close. If you don’t have the perfect weekend, you can move quickly from first to eighth. I hope we have a good set-up since the beginning of the weekend and that we are comfortable on the track. That would be my wish and my goal. We have to score a lot of points to fight for victory.

You’re driving in two days. Will one day be clockwise and the other anti-clockwise?
Yes, one day we are basically driving the route forward and the other way around. This is a real challenge, because you even have to adjust the car differently. The preparations were twice as long as for other races because you had to prepare for two routes, so to speak.

How important is the so-called fan boost, thanks to which fans can actively influence the result of the race?
It’s a cool gadget to get fans involved. They can vote for their favorite driver, who receives an additional power of around 30 kW or around 40 HP for a few seconds. This can really help you defend a position or start an overtaking maneuver. It’s also not so much extra power that you have a huge advantage.

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How about attack mode?
It is a very important strategic tool. Fan Boost is only available to a select few drivers while Attack Mode is mandatory for everyone. You have to decide for yourself when to use the extra power; whether to attack or defend. Most of the time we have to get the attack zone off the track; that is, we also need to calculate how much time we lose as a result. We don’t have any pit stops to catch up with. It’s very exciting to see what happens when two cars collide with one car having more power and the other having less power.

If fans play an active role at all, how can the fan community be developed further?
Formula E is generally very fan friendly. For example, we have a walk to the pit stop where fans can see the cars and the pit lane. We have autograph sessions where all the drivers go to the fans in the E-Village and sign autographs and we are very close to them. The target group is different than in typical motorsport: A lot of young people and families meet, which is probably also due to the fact that we often drive around the cities. Sometimes even infants take part in the races.

From 2021, he will be driving a Gen3 car delivered in Monaco. Does this car convince you?
You have to get used to the appearance. It looks completely different from this year’s vehicle. It’s smaller and has a different look, but the numbers and the facts are interesting. And they speak for themselves.

Thanks to the so-called fan boost, viewers can actively influence the race.Photo: IMAGO / Shutterstock

Regarding the qualifications: Do you think innovation in this area is useful?
Yes, anyway. This makes the whole thing more predictable and fair for drivers. You have to imagine that last year there were four groups that always split according to the championship. This means that the first six were in the first group, the next six in the second and so on. Group 1 was always going first, so their track was always a little dirtier because the dust picks up on the track when no one is driving. This puts the first group at an extreme disadvantage. In other words: whoever did well in the championship was worse off in the next qualifying. Now it’s fairer: there are only two groups of eleven and you need to be in the top four of your group to progress.

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What is the future of Formula E and motorsport as a whole?
I think Formula E is getting more and more interesting. Racing cars that are faster, more efficient and lighter are being developed and we look forward to it. I think Formula E will continue to grow in the future as other manufacturers are also showing a lot of interest. As a driver, it’s a great series: we drive in a lot of cool cities like Monaco, New York, Mexico and Jakarta, some of which have never been before. I especially like Rome because the city is so beautiful and the track is very demanding. The season finale will even be held in Seoul this time.

Have you convinced a few people around you to drive an electric car?
Yes, I know more and more people who have changed; sometimes also families who have bought an electric car. In the future, electric cars will grow, especially in cities. Carsharing services show that manufacturers are moving in this direction more and more often, and it is still good for the environment. I’m becoming an e-car fan more and more, especially when I’m having a stressful day and I just want to drive relaxed. Then the rest is something special and I can really shut down.

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