André Lotterer: “You can buy cockpits in Formula 1”
He still speaks plain language today. Before the ePrix in Rome this weekend, he said, among other things, to AUTO BILD about the long-standing pay driver debate in the premier class: “In Formula 1 you can buy cockpits. Some wouldn’t have a place without their cash package. In Formula E, on the other hand, we are all professionals. No one has to bring money with us, everyone has earned their place through talent.”
Lotterer, who contested a GP race for Caterham in Spa in 2014, means in particular three Formula 1 drivers who bought their cockpit with a large dowry and thus blocked more talented drivers.
First: Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll (23). Sebastian Vettel’s Canadian teammate is the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. The billionaire built his son’s career early on with lots of money. To force success, he first bought a Formula 3 team and hired experienced teammates who first had to play driving instructors and then let his son pass.
Second: Stroll’s compatriot Nicholas Latifi (26). His father is one of the richest Canadians, participated in the McLaren team and bought his son from Williams for a lot of money. Latifi, who, in contrast to his compatriot Stroll, who often seems arrogant, always comes across as likeable, has only been able to score seven points in 41 starts so far. In the 2021 World Cup final, he triggered the World Cup-decisive safety car phase with an accident and also crashed again in Saudi Arabia in 2022. His teammates George Russell and now Alexander Albon were and are significantly faster.
Alone: Even former Formula 1 team bosses like the German Colin Kolles agree with Lotterer’s steep thesis. Kolles, 2014 Lotterer’s team boss at his only Formula 1 race in Spa to AUTO BILD: “André is a perfect example that it’s not just about performance and ability to get a place in Formula 1. He’s one of the greatest talents I’ve ever seen. With champion potential. He didn’t know our car in 2014 and was still a second quicker than our regular driver Marcus Eriksson in qualifying in the rain. That was an unbelievable achievement.”
Lotterer can show how good he is in Formula E this weekend. After the first Porsche victory by his teammate Pascal Wehrlein in Mexico, this time Lotterer wants to be at the top of the podium.