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Formula E

Lopez – Arriving at Dragon was ‘like the first day at school’

Arriving at the Dragon Formula E team was “like the first day at school”, according to Jose Maria Lopez having joined after the opening Hong Kong double header.

Triple World Touring Car champion Lopez was dropped by DS Virgin at the end of the 2016/17 season in favour of Alex Lynn, but found himself back in Formula E after Dragon’s potential tie-in with Porsche fell apart which prompted an early departure for rookie Neel Jani.

Comparing Dragon to his previous Virgin team, Lopez said:

“It’s a different environment, a good environment. I enjoy it a lot, for sure Virgin it was also a side of DS which I knew from WTCC with Citroen, so I knew the guys.

“But here it was like the first day at school, I had to meet everyone but I feel very good. There is a very good atmosphere. We have a lot of good people to do well.

“For myself I’m quite happy. It’s my second season and I can feel the knowledge already of the car, the energy management which are the hardest things to understand in this car.

“It’s positive, of course there’s been some mistakes but I think I’ve done quite well. I’m happy to be here and in the team and pushing for good results.”

A mid-season set-up breakthrough turned both Lopez and team-mate Jerome d’Ambrosio into regular super pole contenders, but Lopez lost points having gotten involved in incidents in Paris, Berlin and Zurich.

Despite a clash with D’Ambrosio at the start of the first New York race, Lopez is adamant he will not change his approach.

“We improved through the season, because we consistently achieved good points. But in many races I had a chance to do a good race and I couldn’t really make it around.

“Sometimes it was things that were not my mistakes, sometimes it was mine as well, but I feel like I could have done much better on many occasions. Something always happens. It’s time to live in the future to improve the mistakes and keep going.

“I arrived here in my career, the last thing I want to do is change my style. I know sometimes is good, sometimes is bad. There are certain mistakes you don’t want to repeat but I learned from that. But I want to keep my spirit of racing.”

A contract extension between Lopez and Dragon is expected, with Arden Formula 2 racer Maximilian Gunther set to step up from his current reserve driver role to replace d’Ambrosio.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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