Former Porsche LMP1 Racer Gets a Jump Start on Formula E
2016 Le Mans winner Neel Jani is headed to Formula E, but it isn’t with Porsche. At least for now.
Porsche has already ended their successful LMP1 racing efforts ahead of a 2019 entry into Formula E racing. The decision to do so quite simply stunned the world. But it also left Porsche’s talented team of drivers out of work. So 2016 Le Mans winner Neel Jani did what any of us might do. He went out and found something to do in the meantime.
But Jani isn’t just going to race for some other LMP1 team. He’s heading to Formula E, albeit with the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team. Jani takes the place of former Dragon driver Loïc Duval to form a two-man team with Jerome D’Ambrosio. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s abandoning Porsche. Not by a long shot.
In fact, this actually sounds like a one-year deal and a win-win for both Porsche and Jani. Now, Jani isn’t going to come out and say that he’s going to flee Dragon for Porsche when the opportunity presents itself. But he won’t exactly deny it, either.
When asked if he was only planning to drive for Dragon until Porsche joins Formula E, Jani told Autosport “A lot is possible, isn’t it? I’m contracted to Porsche next year anyway. For now, we’re finishing the WEC season, then everything will fall into place.” He added “I am not learning for Porsche at Dragon, I am learning about Formula E for myself.”
Regardless of his non-answer, the benefits of this move are obvious. For one, Jani gets a full season of Formula E racing under his belt. Which of course makes him an even more attractive candidate for Porsche’s shiny new team. And he admits that there are some big differences between LMP1 and Formula E, which Lani calls “two different worlds.”
Plus, it’s not like Dragon doesn’t stand to gain from Jani’s addition. Even if it is for a year. After all, they only managed an 8th place finish last season out of 10 teams. So maybe you can this move a win-win-win instead.