Audi's Le Mans practice pacesetter Andre Lotterer says pole is not a priority for him and his teammates in the No. 1 Audi e-tron quattro
Lotterer topped the first practice session at Le Mans on Wednesday evening with a lap of 3m25.163s just before the checkered flag.
"It will be an interesting race between the ultras and the hybrids, especially with the fuel tank aspect," Lotterer told AUTOSPORT. "We have less fuel so we need our little performance boost to compensate. The ultras have a little bit of an advantage in balance and some other things we are still learning about.
"If you look at how we performed at Spa in detail, we had good performance but Ben [Treluyer] had some problems with the tires and the brake balance adjustment. A few things didn't go so well, but hopefully Le Mans will run more smoothly and we will be able to extract the maximum from the new e-tron systems.
"Our flywheel system is light, compact and reliable. The super-capacitor [used by Toyota] is more powerful but bigger and more sensitive. We're looking at the bigger picture and in the end we'll see which is proven best.
"For sure we will have a go [at qualifying on pole] but the priority is to focus on our race setup and to see how many stints we can do with the tires. We won't use more than one set of new tires – we will go once [for pole] and if we hit traffic, that's it. We have more important things to consider."
Lotterer believes that he and his teammates Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer can win the Le Mans 24 Hours for a second consecutive year, even though their new R18 e-tron quattro lost out to its non-hybrid stablemates in the 6 Hours of Spa last month.
"For sure, driving for a top team we have high expectations," he said. "We've tested a lot and prepared the car since the early stages, but of course the hybrid system is still at the beginning of the learning curve. It's the first time we've raced at Le Mans with this technology but this is what I do, I believe in our concept. We've had good test results, so I'm aiming high."