An interview with Jake Dennis: “At the level we are racing at, you have to be sensible and work together”.

BMW:An interview with Jake Dennis: “At the level we are racing at, you have to be sensible and work together”.

Munich. Jake Dennis (GBR) is set to make his debut in Season 7
of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with BMW i Andretti
Motorsport. He and Maximilian Günther (GER) are currently attending
the official Formula E tests at Valencia (ESP)

with the BMW iFE.21. In recent years, Dennis has shown his
versatility in the DTM, GT and Formula racing, and as a simulator
and development driver for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Formula
1 Team. In an interview, he discusses his expectations ahead of his
first Formula E season, the advantages of his racing simulator
experience, and his general viewpoint on the subject of electromobility.

Welcome to BMW i Andretti Motorsport, Jake!
How and when were you approached by the team?

Jake Dennis: “It all started just through having one connection to
BMW i Andretti Motorsport, which allowed me to do a simulator test,
just to see how the performance was. That test went well. That then
progressed on to a test session on the real racetrack, which went also
really well and we had a bit more of an understanding after that, that
we have kind of a chance to get a seat. When things aligned, what the
team needed and what I wanted, we’ve put together the contract.”

You are currently doing test laps at Valencia in the BMW
iFE.21. How does it feel to be part of Formula E?

 

Dennis: “It feels great! I wanted to progress over the past couple of
years into Formula E as the series has really taken off in the past
years. Gaining the FIA World Championship status now is obviously
massive. It’s nice to call myself a Formula E driver and to finally
put some laps in the car with BMW is a real pleasure. Can’t wait for
the first races in Santiago.”

What are you looking forward to most?

Dennis: “To race in the locations we drive at. Getting to race in
Santiago de Chile, in New York, in Rome and in all the other great
cities is just sensational. The tracks are cool as they are all street
circuits but at the same time this will also be the biggest challenge
for me. Not knowing the circuits is definitely a challenge being a
rookie. I think you can learn the car to a certain level pretty
quickly but learning the tracks against drivers, who have even up to
seven years experience will be tough. I think it’s an advantage to
have driven there before, but at one point obviously everybody has to
be a rookie, so this year it’s my go.”

Will Maximilian Günther be more of a partner or more of an opponent?

Dennis: “Maximilian and I are both competitive guys and there is no
question that we want to beat each other, but I think at the level we
are racing at now, you have to be sensible and you have to work
together to make the programme work. We both want the best for the
team and we both want the fastest car underneath at the end of the
day. That means working together and developing the programme as
quickly as possible is the aim and that’s for sure what we do. It
makes no sense to be rivals, that is more when you are 16 or 17 years
old and your aim is Formula 1 and you think everybody is your enemy,
but now obviously we are older and more matured and you see the bigger picture.”

What’s you first impression of the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team?

Dennis: “I like the team a lot. The combination of BMW and Andretti
is very strong. The team is highly professional and it has a good mix
of nationalities, which is a great benefit as you get different views
and different opinions.”

How does your wealth of experience in simulator driving help
in Formula E?

Dennis: “My experience in simulator driving helped me most likely to
get the Formula E seat I’d say, because if I had been slow in the
simulator during the evaluation I think I would not be sitting here
today for sure. But in terms of driving the actual car it doesn’t make
a big difference. Some drivers are really fast on simulators and some
drivers are rather slow, but on track they are just as fast as you. I
think in reality it doesn’t really help me to deliver any more
performance on track but it helps just having more experience on
simulators to help to develop the BMW simulator at the factory.”

Do you have much experience on street circuits?

Dennis: “I don’t really have a lot experience on street circuits
genuinely. I did the ones at Macau and Pau and places like Norisring,
but it’s nothing like Formula E. You just try to build up as much
knowledge as you can but Formula E is so unique with the tracks
they’ve developed, that you probably never really build up enough
knowledge before you go into Formula E. I like it that the circuits
are so tight and twisty and for the fans it’s great to see the cars so
close. All the street races I’ve done so far I really enjoyed so I
think there’s no reason to not enjoy the ones where you race in
Formula E.”

Are you an early bird in normal life? Because you’ll have to
be on Formula E race days…

Dennis: “I’m kind of getting used to the early starts of the day, due
to the early starts in Munich during the simulator days. I’m quite
good at waking up early, I think I don’t need a lot of sleep in
general. But if it’s a possibility, I’m happy to sleep a bit longer
than on race days in Formula E.”

What’s your general opinion on e-mobility?

Dennis: “My general opinion about e-mobility is that it will only
become bigger and bigger. I still love a big engine and super-fast,
loud cars but I am realistic and I know how big the electric world is
going to be and I’m super excited to be now part of the programme and
to get more of an understanding the way the world and the way the
project is going. Just from season one until now – the amount of
technology and development which has happened in Formula E is sensational.”

Original Press Release