Porsche chief makes shock Le Mans admission

Triumphant team principal Andreas Seidl has told Motosport.com that Porsche had not gone through a whole endurance test without encountering a technical issue on one of its 919 Hybrid cars prior to winning the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche chief makes shock Le Mans admission
Andreas Seidl, Porsche Team manager, with Nico Hulkenberg
2015 Le Mans winner #19 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber
Parc fermé: race winners #19 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber celebrate
Splash and dash for the #19 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber
Porsche Team: Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich of Audi Sport Team Joest congratulates Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1 Porsche Team, following their Le Mans victory
Porsche Team: Earl Bamber
Parc fermé: race winners #19 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber celebrate
#19 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber

The architect of the Le Mans Porsche endurance team spoke moments after witnessing an historic 17th Le Mans victory for Porsche and a first ‘factory’ 1-2 since 1998.

“It is difficult to find the words after all the hard work we have put in over the last few years,” said a clearly emotional Seidl immediately after the podium ceremony.

“We never expected to have a race here at Le Mans without any technical issues on three cars and to be troublefree. We have never achieved that before, but we knew that we were much better prepared than we were last year as a team, for sure.

“We knew from testing that something could happen at any time and as we saw at Spa all the manufacturers had problems,” he continued. “So to have a race like this without any problems shows we have evolved a lot as a team with the race strategy, engineers, drivers and mechanics. It was sensational.”

Zero powertrain problems in 24 hours

Remarkably, none of the three Porsche 919 Hybrid cars hit significant technical problems related to its powertrain, ERS or MGU-K systems during the entire race.

“We had no issues, for sure this was important,” said Seidl. “But I think the key was that for a wide area of the race we had the best pace.

“We saw that with the temperatures going up and down a bit and that reflected a bit with us and Audi, and when we were quick but overall I think we just had the quickest car.”

“We knew from testing we were good compared to last year and as you saw we had great pace in qualifying and also in the race. It is a great achievement for the development team and particularly Alex Hitzinger who did a fantastic car. Now we celebrate!”

Drivers deserve praising

Seidl sang the praises of all of the Porsche Team drivers and he admitted that the level of pace they produced even surprised him a little.

“I expected a high level from them, this is why they were selected,” he said. “They all did test laps before (for selection), apart from Nico (Hulkenberg),  so we knew we had the best, but that they could deliver this intensity here, we did not expect it that high – no.”

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