Andre Lotterer is one of sportscar’s great modern drivers with three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with being part of Audi‘s golden era between 2014 and 2016.
At the end of 2016, Lotterer left Audi for another German brand, Porsche, who he now drives for in Formula E, albeit for two more races.
In Lotterer‘s first two seasons in Formula E success was always within touching distance, as he came close to winning on multiple occasions for Techeetah. Few would have guessed that his wait for a maiden victory in the series would continue into what may be his final two races.
Lotterer says he still hopes that win will come as he prepares to leave Formula E and return to the World Endurance Championship with Porsche, who are joining in order to be part of next year’s 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
What about Lotterer‘s five seasons in Formula E then? He begins by listing endless amounts of differences between the all-electric championship and everything else he’s driven, before telling Total-Motorsport.com: “In terms of challenges, Formula E is definitely the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in my career to racing.
“It’s very intense and difficult. But what really makes Formula E different for me is the message that comes across.
“There was a big hole in motorsport for a long time. I mean, motorsport has always been a platform for new technologies.
“But for the first time, we can really feel part of the race for the future in such an obvious way. I think it’s really important that Formula E exists.”
Lotterer‘s words are all the more striking given he was initially skeptical of Formula E, saying “it was not a sport” and that he had no interest in joining.
A lot has changed since those comments in 2016, and Lotterer now says Formula E is in a great place.
“I think it’s on a good path in parallel with where the world is going with mobility,” explained Lotterer. “It’s inevitable that we are the centre of that and we are representing the sporting aspect of it.
“We have just got to keep growing gradually, bring races to new cities and become bigger. This will give us a bigger audience with more spectators and more TV numbers. I think the platform itself, the product, is pretty good.
“I think the new technologies is important and gradually bringing more innovations to make it more relevant for everybody.”
Return to sportscars and Le Mans
Lotterer will return to familiar territory in 2023 when he joins Porsche in the World Endurance Championship‘s new LMDh category. Ferrari and Peugeot are also joining the series.
Nevertheless, the German says the decision to leave Formula E for WEC wasn’t an easy one.
“It’s not like there are huge choices out there,” said Lotterer. “For me, it’s between sportscar racing and Formula E.
“Formula 1 was a wish when I started my career. I got close and did that one Grand Prix. But I think F1, Formula E and the World Endurance Championship are the biggest championships out there.
“I will still be involved a little bit in Formula E though.”
Lotterer, who made a one-off appearance in F1 at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix for Caterham, which unfortunately lasted just one lap, still has the same hunger as he did when he burst onto the scene in the 2000s.
The German will be 41 years old in November, but his mindset is still the same as he seeks that maiden Formula E victory this weekend in Seoul, before focusing on winning a fourth Le Mans in 2023.
“It’s always about winning,” said Lotterer. “Of course, I enjoy working with the team on all aspects with a brand like Porsche.
“It’s quite prestigious to represent them. It’s nice to find solutions with engineers, but I can’t say it’s not fun.
“I still feel like I need to prove myself like when I was younger and be at the front. What you’ve done in the past doesn’t really count, it’s always about what’s next.”