Tom Kristensen: Porsche following trend of big manufacturers in Formula E switch
Tom Kristensen, Eurosport Motorsport Ambassador and nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, reacts to the Porsche quitting LMP1 (WEC)...
Q: What do you make of the Porsche announcement to quit LMP1 at the end of the FIA WEC season and with this their Le Mans programme?
Tom Kristensen: “In short term it is very sad, but it is no big surprise, rumours and discussion were going on since Le Mans in June. Porsche has been showing great performances with great cars, a great team and great drivers in the last 4 seasons. And don’t forget, they remain in the WEC and at Le Mans with their GT program. But Porsche is following the trend of the big manufacturers in terms of new, urban technologies and e-mobility going into Formula E.”
Q: How do you see the situation for the FIA WEC and 24 hours of Le Mans?
Tom Kristensen: “For Le Mans and the organiser ACO it is a challenge but they have the greatest race in the world, the 24 hours of Le Mans. For me there are 2 main points: I think they have to simplify the technical rules of LMP1 and the Circuit has to remain unique.
"It has to keep the true character of the past that challenges teams and drivers. The positive of someone like Porsche leaving the top category is that it will give other manufacturers the possibility to become successful in Le Mans with a shorter delay. And some privateers of LMP2 could shine even more, just think of the great race we had this year.”
Q: Formula E seems to be the place to be for big manufacturers these days. What is the reason for this?
Tom Kristensen: “It is a combination of many things: Formula E is a good organisation, they are well linked with FIA, they go urban, they bring the races to the people. But the biggest factor is the technology. In the past motorsport has always been about performance and reliability, now it is about sustainability and e-mobility. And this is what you can showcase with Formula E and that is why all the manufacturers go there.”