Championship leader Wehrlein on his Misano E-Prix win: “It was a lot of managing”

Photo credits: Formula E | Simon Galloway
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The Italian E-Prix rounds brought chaos, emotions, heartbreak and not one but two different championship leaders. The first of them is Pascal Wehrlein, who had been in the lead prior to the first leg of the double header.

It was an incredibly eventful weekend for him and even more for his team Tag Heuer Porsche: on Saturday his teammate Antonio Felix da Costa had secured his first race win of the season in style, only for him to be disqualified due to running a non standard pump.

Revenge was in order for the German team, as Wehrlein claimed his second seasonal win after the inaugural Mexico City E-Prix on the last lap of the race, due to Oliver Rowland, overnight championship leader due to his promotion to P1, losing power after having led the majority of the 26 laps.

The former Mahindra driver was extremely pleased with his race on Sunday, while also upset for the chance lost on the previous day for both his teammate and himself, as he had been involved in a collision which had left him out of the contention for the podium:

“Yesterday would have been better to win but I’m very happy about the race today. It was quite chaotic again in the beginning until mid-race. I wasn’t sure if I should stay in the lead or let Oli [Rowland] through the pace.”

“His pace seemed a bit weird and too fast to try and defend so I didn’t defend him much. I was a bit surprised by his energy, I wasn’t sure if the team had the correct information or not. But in the end, it proved to be the right thing to do. “

Saving up energy and tyres ended up being the best call for him, unlike the flat out strategy employed by the Nissan driver:

“It was a lot of managing; the energy, the battery, the tires. Just everything. It goes quickly from zero to hero, we know that in Formula E. I think we had the pace this weekend to win both races.”

“Unfortunately yesterday with these kinds of races I was a bit of a victim with my front wing and then being at the back, but today was a big redemption for us.”

Asked to compare the differences between the two races, with Round 6 slightly longer than Round 7 by two laps, Wehrlein admitted that there weren’t that many, and that he had entered both races with the same approach:

“Yeah, I think it hasn’t changed a lot. Obviously, it was less laps, but also when there’s more grip, it’s more difficult to regenerate the energy, so recuperate the energy.

Photo credits: Formula E | Simon Galloway

“Targets were a little bit higher, but I still feel like the beginning of the race is super chaotic and for me, it just feels like too much chaos and it makes qualifying a bit irrelevant, which I feel like it’s also a bit of a shame.”

“But nevertheless, we kept it clean today. That was important after yesterday. Just wanted to keep it clean in the beginning and then the race unfolded our way,” he concluded.

The German went into more detail about his duel for the lead against Rowland, recalling its key moments:

“Once the race settled down a bit, I think it was a fight of four or five cars, probably. And at a certain moment, I think Oliver and myself, we progressed a little bit more. I took over the lead and initially it was to keep the lead, but he was putting a lot of pressure.”

“I was sure if I was trying to defend him, I would just struggle with energy. So in the end, I didn’t defend, I let him through and my team kept telling me I’m two, three percent up on energy. So I was very surprised about that.”

“Actually, until the last or second last lap, I was not even sure if that was correct or not. And yeah, then kind of his energy, I guess, was dying in the last lap and that’s when we took over. So, really good job and yeah, the right call to trust the information we had.”