Jake Dennis (Avalanche Andretti) and Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) sat down to chat ahead of Formula E's first trip to Indonesia and the Jakarta E-Prix this weekend on the challenges that await...
Jake: So Edo, when was the last time we both went to a new circuit? We had the luxury of winning. Mine was in London, and yours was obviously in Puebla.
What do you think gives you the edge when we go to a new circuit? What do you think you did well in Puebla?
Edo: I think with every Formula E race weekend, it's important to prepare well and you do quite a lot of work on the simulator and from there need to kind of guess and predict the problems that you're going to get here and try to think about solutions maybe that you could get in place.
Jake: The biggest thing is simulator work you do prior to the event, especially on a new circuit. Generally, if you start in FP1 on the backfoot, it's really difficult to get up to speed by FP2 and in qualifying. If you're generally pretty quick in FP1, it's been quite easy to take that momentum into FP2 and in qualifying, at least for me.
In London, FP1 was immediately quite good - then you're not having to make massive changes to the car to try and get back on the on the pace of the frontrunners. This year in qualifying you have maybe two attempts, whereas last year was just one and that put a lot of pressure on it.
Are you a fan of the new qualifying format?
Edo: I liked the one last year and like this year's too. But I kind of like agree with you that when you come to a new track, confidence is key. You understand quite quickly if you're going to be quick or not. That not only on this track, but also on other racetracks. Sometimes for some reason, to find competitiveness, it actually comes more naturally, so you don't have to really force it so much on a new racetrack, a new layout.
Jake: Something I've never really experienced in Formula E yet is that this is actually the first really hot race. We've been to some potentially hot races, but they've never been crazy heat. But this weekend with the temperatures and the thunderstorms, potentially, it's going to be a thermally-limited race that's tough on battery temperature.
Then you combine that with a race which could see red flags for weather or stoppages and it's a tough combination. Trying to understand all this and put it together for the team is a challenging, challenging part of the weekend. Trying to anticipate the weather and the battery temperature.
Edo: Definitely, it is going to be very, very unpredictable. For everyone involved this weekend, I think it's going to be extremely difficult. It's going to be difficult to predict the issues that we are going to get.
But I think for the fans, it's going to be good, it's going to be cool, and I think that this is going to be great for them. I hope that they're going to a have a lot of fun watching us race in difficult conditions. The races are always a little bit more chaotic, for sure. It should be a really good one!
Published on 3rd June 2022