Report: Andre Lotterer misses Formula E double race in Jakarta - will David Beckmann take over?
German Formula E driver Andre Lotterer will in all likelihood not take part in the electric series' "double-header" in Jakarta. The reason for this is a test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Lotterer will compete for Porsche this year. This is reported by the colleagues from 'Motorsport-Magazin'. His cockpit at the Porsche customer team Avalanche Andretti could take over the German youngster David Beckmann, who is available to both teams as an official reserve driver..
Porsche Motorsport has confirmed that for Lotterer the WEC program, including the endurance classic at Le Mans and the associated test, would have priority: "Andre will drive the Le Mans test," was the unequivocal statement. It is true that the veteran switched from the Porsche works team to the new Andretti customer team before the current Formula E season. However, he remained under contract as a works driver in Weissach and is to pilot the new LMDh prototype Porsche 963 together with Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor.
So it is likely that David Beckmann will make his official electric debut at the Formula E double race on June 3 and 4, 2023. The 22-year-old took on the role of reserve driver for Porsche and its customer team Andretti in mid-December and has already accompanied the racing teams at the track this season. This also makes it more likely that the German will be used in the rookie test following the Berlin E-Prix on April 24. This would allow Beckmann to prepare in the best possible way for his racing debut in Indonesia in the Porsche 99X Electric.
Andretti has so far not commented on the upcoming date clash or a potential replacement driver for Lotterer. Team boss Roger Griffiths had been well aware during testing in Valencia that the WEC program with Porsche would take priority for his driver. It's possible that the test day before Le Mans wasn't on his radar. We do not expect the team to make an announcement in the near future.
Vergne skips WEC test: "Drive all Formula E races"
The scheduling clash, meanwhile, doesn't just affect Lotterer. Nico Müller (ABT Cupra) and Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Penske) will also compete at Le Mans, incidentally both for Peugeot. However, they confirmed to 'Motorsport-Magazin' that they will skip the Le Mans test and start at the Jakarta E-Prix instead. "I'm driving all the Formula E races. I'm missing the Le Mans test because of Jakarta," Vergne clarifies..
What Envision driver Sebastien Buemi will decide is still unclear. The Swiss has been a works driver for Toyota for many years and will also take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Actually, his works driver contract is also a priority. In 2017, Buemi already missed the New York City E-Prix because of his WEC commitments at the Nürburgring - which may have cost him the title later in Montreal..
In addition, Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa are competing in the WEC. As with Buemi, it is currently unknown for these two drivers whether they could possibly take part in the Le Mans test. It can be assumed that the drivers and teams concerned will also make the decision dependent on the current WEC standings in three months' time. We will keep you up to date.