Lotterer crashes twice at Formula E race in Rome & clashes with Cassidy: "We were outside the points anyway"
Andre Lotterer has experienced "a weekend to forget" at the Hankook Rome E-Prix of Formula E, as he puts it himself. In what was possibly his penultimate outing in the electric series, the German Andretti driver crashed into a concrete wall on Saturday, most likely through no fault of his own. On Sunday, Nick Cassidy sent him into the wall again, on the last lap of the race no less. After the E-Prix, Lotterer did not hide a certain lack of understanding for the clash.
As Formula E's TV direction focussed on the finish of the leading group around Jake Dennis, further back in the field drivers once again crashed: Clearly outside the points-paying positions - in the fight for P13 - Nick Cassidy set up for a late dive on Lotterer going into the right-hander of turn 14. The title contender gave the veteran no chance of catching the corner.
Lotterer, accordingly, landed in the TecPro barrier and damaged the front end. While Cassidy was still able to finish, the race was over for Lotterer. "We were outside the points anyway and on the last lap. That's why I didn't quite understand it - it's a shame," Lotterer tells e-Formula.news.
"I was already almost turning in to the corner, and he just lunged me down the inside. I don't think he would have made the turn himself. Then I slid into the wall. He just braked way too late, and that was it," Lotterer said, analyzing the attack.
The race organizers assessed the scene similarly to him: after the race, Cassidy received a time penalty of five seconds for causing the collision on the last lap. In addition, the Envision driver was awareded a penalty point. Cassidy apparently didn't object to the decision either. "He apologized to me," Lotterer said.
Cause of Saturday's accident unexplained: "That was pretty scary"
On Saturday, Lotterer had already had to end the race early with a damaged car. He lost control of his Andretti in the fast turn 6 and crashed into the right track barrier. He eventually came to a halt with major damage.
"I don't know what happened," Lotterer tells us. "Something got under the car and I couldn't steer anymore. I just crashed straight into the wall. That was pretty scary. I don't know if it was debris from someone else."
At least Lotterer didn't hurt himself on impact. "It was a hard impact, but the car was okay all things considered, and so was I." Before Sunday's race, he said, his team only needed to make a few repairs to the Porsche 99X Electric at the front and right rear.
Rome conclusion representative of 2023 season: "In terms of potential, much more would have been possible"
Lotterer's summary after the weekend is sobering: "I am disappointed, because from the pace it was actually quite good. Considering our potential, much more would have been possible. But in the end, I didn't manage to realize it."
A conclusion that would also apply to the 41-year-old's entire season: While his teammate Dennis put himself in a prime position to win the world championship with two victories and 195 points so far, Lotterer is 17th overall with a meager 23 points.
His sporting record, as well as his endurance commitment with Porsche, suggests that Lotterer could contest his final two races in the series at the London E-Prix in two weeks.
The final "double-header" of the 2023 season takes place on July 29 and 30. Whether Lotterer can conclude his possible Formula E career end with a good result or perhaps even help his Andretti teammate to the title remains to be seen. In any case, the potential would be there.