Lotterer: WEC should consider customer LMP1 hybrid systems

Andre Lotterer believes the FIA World Endurance Championship should consider offering a customer hybrid system in the LMP1 class as a way to encourage new entries in future.

Lotterer: WEC should consider customer LMP1 hybrid systems
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
André Lotterer, Audi Sport Team Joest
#14 Team Kolles Audi R10 TDI: Narain Karthikeyan, Charles Zwolsman, André Lottererv
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
André Lotterer, Audi Sport Team Joest
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport; Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
André Lotterer, Audi Sport Team Joest
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

The withdrawal of Audi from endurance racing has sparked debate about what direction the global sportscar series should be heading in, with the need to attract a third manufacturer to join Porsche and Toyota widely recognised.

Lotterer first got his break in endurance racing with the privateer Kolles team, which ran customer Audi R10s for two years, in 2009 before he earned a promotion to the works team.

Asked whether the development of hybrid technology made it harder for drivers to get involved in the sport due to reduced LMP1 grids, the 35-year-old told Motorsport.com that a possible solution to this problem would be a customer hybrid package made available to private teams.

"It’s understandable that privateers can’t run these [factory LMP1] cars, because the technology requires a lot of resources," said Lotterer, who moves across to Audi's sister brand Porsche for the 2017 season.

"Even if a manufacturer would support a private team, I don’t think anyone has the capacity to handle that task and supply them with parts.

"I think maybe in a few years, if we had more standard or spec parts, and you can offer that as a package… and I think that should be considered.

"Now we have one manufacturer less in the WEC, it would make sense to offer LMP1 packages to private teams.

"The technology is out there, we just need to make it available somehow. It would be nice, because at the end of the day we need more LMP1 cars.

"It could also create some sort of cost-soothing situation for a manufacturer, if they can sell some of the technology to a private team."

Attitude to Formula E softening

In a previous interview with Motorsport.com, Lotterer had made it clear he had little interest in competing in Formula E, believing the fledgling championship to be "more of a philosophy" than a sport.

However, in the wake of Audi's WEC pull-out - which comes at the same time as the German marque investing more effort into Formula E - he says now he would be willing to consider the all-electric series as a future option.

"There’s no reason to compare [Formula E] to racing how we are used to seeing," said Lotterer. "But with the car industry becoming more electric, it makes sense for the brands to do that.

"The races are exciting, the drivers are good, they go to great cities. They are not as exciting as the cars we have here [in WEC] with 1000bhp with insane speeds and acceleration.

"Formula E is at the beginning; they will improve. It’s hard to predict when the series will be fast, how the battery development will be. For sure it’s something all the manufacturers are looking at now.

"I’m considering it now, because if all the best [drivers] go there, I’ll want to go there too."

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