Due to the official absence of Edoardo Mortara, the VENTURI Formula E Team asked the French racing driver Tom Dillmann to drive at the Berlin ePrix.
Dillmann is best known for winning the German Formula Three Championship in the 2010 Formel 3 season and the Formula V8 3.5 Championship in the 2016 3.5 season. So definitely not a rookie with the Formula cars.
He was an obvious choice for the VENTURI Formula E Team to replace Edoardo Mortara in his official absence. It was a once in a lifetime chance for the French driver to shine in the German capital and to secure a future position with VENTURI. And since we had an exclusive weekend together with Monaco’s very own racing team, we decided to make a short interview with Dillmann.
How did you prepare yourself for the race?
We practiced a lot in the simulator. Generally speaking we usually practice 3-4 days on a simulator before each race track.
Based on your opinion how efficient is this?
Thanks to VENTURI we can simulate pretty much all the conditions on the race track. This is a huge advantage for us drivers.
Formula E is not a new series for you. You already tested before and probably you have a good overview on the cars.
Yes, I started my testings in 2015 with Team Aguri. I am in a lucky position to experience the development of the cars and it is impressive how much they evolved since 2015. Also I believe that the new Gen2, the race car for next year will be a huge step forward.
What is the biggest change with the Gen2 car?
It is a big improvement in every sense. If I have to highlight one thing then it is the bigger battery for sure. By having a bigger battery the drivers do not need to change cars anymore during the race.
Do you have any special routine before race days?
No. Nothing. (smiles)
Having a chance to observe the exceptional team work of the VENTURI Formula E Team it was truly fascinating to see how the atmosphere changed by being closer and closer to the race.
On Friday we had quite relaxed conversations, the team was very professional but in the meantime also open to talk and show us around.
On Saturday morning both of the VENTURI pilots arrived in a super focused way. Having a small morning chat with Dillmann it was obvious that he started to feel the pressure of the upcoming race. As he declared this is his chance to shine.
I was disappointed not to be on the grid this year after it went quite well last year. I’m glad to have another shot to show what I can do here.
During the first practice session Dillmann gained the 15th position with the time of 1:11.136. This was +1.439 slower then the leader Nick Heidfeld.
The second practice went much for better for Dillmann, finishing with a lap time of 1:10.456, but it was only enough for the 19th place. However on the positive side he made a huge saving coming out from the corner right after the E-motion VIP tent. For a minute it looked like he will drop and crash the car to the wall, but his instincts and professional driving skills allowed him to make a massive comeback.
Dillmann also improved his performance during the qualification gaining a 1:10.214 lap time which catapulted him to the 12nd pole position just in front of his team mate Maro Engel who finished 13th.
I was happy with twelfth spot in the qualifying session. I set a good pace during the race itself, but I foolishly lost four seconds in the pits when my leg got stuck in a seat belt. That cost me dear because I had to use more energy than planned to recover the progress I made during the first part of the race. I was in the running today, and that’s what I want to hold onto.
It was one thing for sure, he had the eagerness to prove himself. So it was time to see Dillmann’s performance during the race.
Berlin e-Prix 2018
On the starting grid the two VENTURI cars started head to head from the 12nd place for Dillmann and the 13th for Engel. However right after the start Engel overtook Dillmann showing that he is the resident driver at VENTURI. In overall both VENTURI drivers got off to a good start.
On his first appearance in Formula E this season Dillmann did not lost his coolness and he started to catchup with Engel and came up to the 10th place right behind his team mate. During the 8th and 9th lap Dillmann tried to attack Engel, however by the end of the 10th lap Nick Heidfeld jumped in between the two VENTURI cars.
On lap 38, Dillmann took two places to move into a point-scoring 10th position. It seemed that the both driver finishing in the top 10 prediction became reality. But Dillmann, intent on attack, lost his focus and left the door open, being overtaken by both Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr. and both Mahindra drivers.
By the end of the 2018 Berlin e-Prix, Dillmann secured the 13th position for the VENTURI Formula E Team.
“Tom made a great return to the team, also setting out to reach the top ten.” – Gildo PASTOR, President of VENTURI Formula E team
We are confident that we will hear more about Dillmann in the future because man, he has the skills to drive. And yes, we might could keep his 10th place to make the “boss” happy but still finishing 13th is an great result. People should not forget that the Formula E Championsip is a highly competitive race series where many of the drivers are former Formula One pilots. So thumbs up for Dillmann.
Read our complete Berlin e-Prix reportage:
- Exclusive weekend with Monaco’s VENTURI Formula E Team
- Trackside with Gildo Pallanca Pastor
- Michael Benyahia – The new generation of race drivers
- Maro Engel: Monaco’s very own race driver
- Tom Dillmann: Sometimes one chance is all we need
For more information about VENTURI please visit: http://www.venturi.com
Tags: ABB Formula E, Berlin, Berlin ePrix, Edoardo Mortara, Formula E, Gen2 car, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, Gildo PASTOR, interview, Monaco, Monagasque team, race, racing, Team Aguri, Tom DILLMANN, Venturi, Venturi Automobiles, Venturi Formula E Team