Written by Vyas Ponnuri
David Beckmann is set to step in for Andre Lotterer at the upcoming Jakarta E Prix weekend, as the latter prepares to drive for Porsche’s LMDh outfit at the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Andre Lotterer’s commitments as part of his agreement with Porsche meant he was almost certainly going to miss the double-header at Jakarta. Lotterer’s absence from the event was already announced in early March, but the decision on his replacement for the event was yet to be made. As part of his agreement with the team, he would have to prioritise his LMDh activities.
The German will be taking part in a test session prior to the showpiece event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is set to commence on June 10th and end on June 11th, a week after the Jakarta double-header.
The decision to replace Lotterer was one that would lie between former Formula 2 driver, and current reserve driver David Beckmann, and Indy Lights winner Linus Lundqvist. Both drivers took part in the mid-season young driver test held in late April, driving for Avalanche Andretti. Ultimately, it was Beckmann who received the chance to step in for the double header in the Indonesian capital.
The 23-year old German, who is mostly known to fans as, “The guy whose name was confused with that of David Beckham”, has an established racing CV for a driver of his age. His prowess was confirmed right from his karting days, when he beat former Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher to win the German Junior Karting Championship in 2013.
A couple of years later, Beckmann was competing in the lower echelons of Junior Formulae. He definitely made a strong impression on his debut in F4, making his debut only two weeks after turning 15. He also took part in the Formula 3 European Championship, although he didn’t make much of an impression during his two-year stint in the series.
Moving up to GP3 in 2018, Beckmann finished fifth in the standings, and took three race wins during the season. The following year, he competed in the inaugural FIA Formula 3 season, finishing 14th in the standings, driving for Jenzer and Trident. In 2020, he remained at Trident, and his commitment paid off, as he finished sixth in the standings. Beckmann took two victories and podiums in a strong season.
Beckmann stepped up to Formula 2 in 2021, and put in multiple short stints at Campos, Charouz Racing System (now PHM Racing), and debutants Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) during two years in the series. Beckmann was snapped up by Avalanche Andretti as a reserve driver, before the start of the 2023 season.
One would wonder if this was an audition of sorts for Beckmann’s future in the series, when considering Lotterer’s poor form during the season, and the latter having spoken about 2023 being his final season in the series. It could open up an opportunity for Beckmann to drive for the team in 2024, should he impress in his one-off appearance.
Beckmann was grateful to receive this rare opportunity, and quoted:
“I’m super grateful for the opportunity to step in for André and represent the Avalanche Andretti Formula E Team in Jakarta," said the 23-year-old. "Formula E is an incredibly competitive championship, and I’m excited to showcase my capabilities in this unique racing series. I would like to thank Michael Andretti and the team for trusting me with this responsibility. I’m going to give my best to achieve a successful outcome for everyone involved.”
Avalanche Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths too had high regards for the youngster, in his statement on the news:
“David has proven himself as a highly talented driver and we are delighted to welcome him back into the team for the Jakarta E-Prix. He was part of the team in Season 8 as the official reserve driver and he has not only demonstrated his capabilities during the Berlin Rookie Test, but also throughout the Porsche Motorsport development activities. He will be an excellent replacement for the double-header weekend.
"We knew from the outset that André's priorities lay within Porsche’s LMDh sportscar squad and were therefore supportive of his commitments outside of Formula E. David’s experience in both single-seater championships and as both the team’s and TAG Heuer Porsche’s Reserve and Development Driver will undoubtedly contribute to his seamless transition into the Formula E environment. We have full confidence in his ability to represent the team and have no doubt that he will make the most of this opportunity, contributing to our continued success in the championship.”