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Saturday, December 9, 2023

The highs and lows of Britain’s newest world championship success

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Making an attempt to precise my feelings on successful the Components E world championship is all the time going to be troublesome. It’s not simply this yr, it’s so a few years of onerous work which have gone in to attempt to turn out to be one of the best on the planet at one thing.

It simply means absolutely the world to me and the entire Andretti Autosport staff. Seeing the feelings of everybody in London on the finale was one thing that I by no means anticipated, simply how a lot it meant. It was an unbelievable feeling and it nonetheless offers me goosebumps now occupied with turning into world champion. Being one of the best in Components E is one thing so particular. I’ll undoubtedly always remember it.

It’s hopefully one thing I get to expertise once more, however you solely ever turn out to be world champion for the primary time as soon as, and I really feel like nothing will ever come near that second.

We left Valencia after pre-season testing pondering that we had one of many slowest powertrains, we weren’t environment friendly in any respect. We have been gradual, we have been missing pure tempo and it was a troublesome low season. I simply went into it pondering that is going to be a season on the again, so to win the opening spherical in Mexico was simply so sudden. When that occurs it turns into even sweeter.

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We then left the following rounds in Saudi Arabia pondering that we’re in one of the best place ever, we’ve obtained essentially the most environment friendly powertrain, every part was in our favour. Then principally from the tip of January till April I didn’t rating any factors.

They have been all flyaways and single-header races, which implies you’re away from your loved ones a lot. You might be nonetheless doing all of the simulator work, nonetheless doing all of the preparation, and to not come house with any reward was so mentally difficult. I might see the morale within the staff at occasions being low, there’s no denying that. You possibly can see how a lot they have been placing in in the direction of it and I couldn’t ship the outcomes that they deserved.

After a win and a pair of runner-up finishes firstly of the season, Dennis did not rating a degree for the following 4 races

Photograph by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

I simply stored attempting to have a reset after every race, however once you do it three or 4 races in a row the novelty wears off fairly rapidly and also you suppose, ‘Is that this actually price it?’. Fortunately Pascal Wehrlein wasn’t scoring huge factors at this stage of the season and Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans have been getting back from a very tough begin to the season.

PLUS: How a “complete reset” helped Dennis deliver Andretti’s Formula E title

Clearly, they have been successful races by this level, however I by no means as soon as thought that I can’t win the championship. Each race I nonetheless felt like I might do it, I’ve obtained the Porsche powertrain behind me, I’ve obtained the staff behind me to battle for race wins, I can flip this round. And that’s precisely what we did.

The extent between Nick, Mitch and I has been so excessive this yr. I felt like none of us had a break day, all of us have been working so onerous to attempt to win this championship. Each lap, each session mattered, and I felt like every time I delivered a very good lap in qualifying, these guys have been additionally qualifying proper on the entrance.

That race in London felt like I had every part thrown at me. Security automobiles, pink flags, the overtakes which have been happening, it was all simply so intense. I simply felt like I had 21 drivers all going up towards me

They have been performing, they have been successful races. I used to be scoring podiums – however even the podiums felt like they weren’t sufficient.

I left Portland with a second place, a house race for the staff, an enormous occasion for us, and I used to be irritated that I’d completed second. That was the form of degree that we have been working in the direction of. For those who don’t win the race, it’s not adequate.

We clearly got here out on prime, however these boys have been pushing me so onerous and whoever had gained would have deserved it.

That race in London felt like I had every part thrown at me. Security automobiles, pink flags, the overtakes which have been happening, it was all simply so intense. I simply felt like I had 21 drivers all going up towards me and it was so troublesome to manage what I used to be feeling within the automobile. I used to be solely talking to my engineer at that time and simply felt like I used to be alone, I wasn’t having any help, particularly from my team-mate and the opposite Porsche automobiles.

In a hectic opening race of the London finale, Dennis was able to make a vital mental reset in the red flag stoppage

In a busy opening race of the London finale, Dennis was capable of make a significant psychological reset within the pink flag stoppage

Photograph by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

After the primary pink flag I spoke to my supervisor and simply wanted a reset of what was happening as a result of the race was so intense, and he gave me good readability, he gave me the arrogance that I might do it. I simply went into my driver’s room and had a second to myself with no cameras, no one else, simply attempting to manage every part that was happening.

It was a very good factor when it comes to with the ability to hold my feelings in examine, have a little bit of a relaxation. I used to be pondering, ‘I can truly win this factor if I ship, and I carry out’, and that was the case in the long run.

I’m backing myself to attempt to win the championship once more, nevertheless it’s going to be troublesome. The Porsche guys and I are going to be working actually onerous to attempt to flip what has turn out to be a small efficiency deficit to Jaguar round and are available again in Mexico in January and win this championship once more.

Can Dennis defend his Formula E title next season?

Can Dennis defend his Components E title subsequent season?

Photograph by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

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