“I'm just really looking forward to coming to India, it's my first time there.” - Jake Dennis, Formula E driver and winner of the Mexico E-Prix talks to us about Gen 3, India and racing
Widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers in Formula E at the moment, we talk to the 2023 FIA Formula E world championship’s first winner, Jake Dennis, on the eve of the upcoming Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia. He lets loose on how the new Gen 3 cars feel, what his other racing plans are and how excited he is to come to India in February!
Why Gen 3 is not as quick as expectations
"The reason why we are slower or around the same speed as Gen 2 is all because of the tyres. The cars are much faster in a straight line, much more efficient, lighter. So if we did have a softer compound, we would be two seconds faster, I would say. But it's the situation that we are in and we can't really do too much about it. But I think the development throughout the season will be enough to make us faster than the Gen 2 car even with the tyre situation. Next time we go to Mexico next year you are probably going to see a one and a half second faster lap time just purely through development and the car being one year into its cycle. Gen 2 we were at the absolute maximum of its capacity, the car couldn't physically go any faster. The potential of the Gen 3 and the Gen 3 Evo which will come out in two years will be much better. You never know, a tyre is very easy to change halfway through the season. Going into 2024 as well. If Formula E wants to make us go faster, give us a quicker tyre, it will be very easy to do. It won't be an issue for Hankook to supply that."
Gen 2 vs Gen 3
"Gen 3 is definitely more difficult to drive. It is a lot more challenging to drive through the corners, the car's sliding around a lot more so it is a bit more difficult. But then in the race running it's a little bit easier, just because the energy management now is much less, so it's a bit more difficult for the driver to make mistakes in terms of overconsuming or underconsuming. We still have to do certain procedures and the steering wheel is still very much advanced with a lot to do but qualifying is a little more challenging, the race is a little easier. At least from my side, it could be the opposite for other teams."
Other racing series
"I'm generally really happy with Formula E at the moment, I see it as the main programme. I don't really see myself moving from Formula E anytime soon unless something drastically changes but I think in 2024 I will probably look more into endurance racing as well. Obviously Formula E will take priority but I think with my partnership with BMW, I have a contract with them, they are keen to maybe put me into the LMDh, so keeping my options open. But for 2023 I will mainly be focusing on Formula E especially until August, and then maybe afterwards I will focus on the GT3s with the new M4s, they've just had their first 24 hour race win and the car's looking quite competitive this year. I do still enjoy endurance racing a lot."
Formula E in India
"It's very much of an unknown I think for everyone. I haven't seen the track layout yet. So it's difficult to talk about the race, if it's going to create overtaking or not. I'm sure the way it's been designed will certainly accommodate that. I'm just really looking forward to coming to India, it's my first time there. It's going to be a very unique experience for sure, spending around five or six days there. I'm just looking forward to the experience there, seeing how the cars behave at the track and just the culture away from the circuit as well. It's one I'm definitely looking forward to."