Jake Dennis hopes to defend his Formula E title: "I feel more ease than ever"
World champion Jake Dennis sees himself and the Andretti team well prepared just a few days before the 2024 Formula E World Championship season opener in Mexico. He also praises Porsche for the further development since the London E-Prix. However, he expects a completely different race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez than in the previous season.
As the reigning world champion, Dennis decided to use the number 1 on his car. Only Nelson Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi and Stoffel Vandoorne had done this before him in Formula E. "I think it’s just a nice moment for the team to have the number one on the car as well," Dennis told Motorsport Week. "You don’t get to run number one very often, where you actually choose to run it and earn it. So, I was sceptical of running it, but you just don’t come by these moments very often."
"Honestly, I feel a bit more at ease going into the championship, more than ever," he continues. "Partly because last year I went into Mexico thinking that I didn’t have a good car at all. If Mexico doesn’t go well because we’re not fast enough or a mistake or whatever, then I’ll try and just be a lot more calm and collected and appreciate that the season is long and that we’ve still got all the chances in the world to get it right. If this first sort of month of January racing doesn’t go well."
Recognition for Porsche: "They've done a pretty good job"
He praises Porsche for its further development since last season, but admits that he has not had much influence on this himself. "To be honest, I haven’t done a great amount of testing since July, purely because we didn’t have too many days left as a manufacturer of Porsche. The days which we did have, obviously, Pascal (Wehrlein) and Antonio (Felix da Costa) did them. But nevertheless, I think they’ve done a pretty good job from the work they did from London to Valencia. Seemed like a good step forward in terms of software and hoping that, again, they’ve made another step in the right direction at least (after Valencia)."
"I mean, to be honest, the software is completely different to last year," the Briton said. "Those guys have really reinvented the software for the better. The software could perform or lean more towards them (Felix da Costa and Wehrlein) in terms of their driving style and stuff like that. So, we’ll have to wait and see. But I have every bit of confidence in Andretti to try and find the best solution for my driving style."
He expects a completely different picture for the season opener than in 2023. "I’m sure everyone’s moved forward," he is convinced. "No one’s standing still in this championship, so I expect the lap times to be quite a bit quicker than what we did last year if conditions are pretty similar."
"I expect it to be a very different race in Mexico"
However, he believes that not only the lap times but also the race itself will be different from last year. "I think, as we saw at the end of the championship, no one ever breaks away. Because last year, if you weren’t quite quick enough, you would just let the leader pull away, and then you just try and survive," he describes.
"Whereas now it seems to be more efficient just to sit in someone’s tow. And even if you feel like he’s too quick for you, it’s actually more efficient to spend that bit more energy because you end up getting it back in his tow. So, I think there’s going to be a lot of overtaking compared to last year. It wasn’t a huge amount in Mexico last season, so I expect it to be a very different race."
The first of a total of 16 races in the Formula E World Championship will take place next Saturday. The race will start at 21:03 CET.