10 May Audi Experience Podium Success in Formula E Debut
Drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt placed second and fourth for Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in Formula E’s first race in Rome.
The qualifying session did not go as planned, with both drivers paced further down the back in grid positions sixth and ninth respectively. Di Grassi just missed the Super Pole of the five fastest drivers after a small mistake on his timed lap, while Abt could not get his tires to work optimally.
Despite less than perfect grid positions, both drivers wowed the 30,000-strong crowd with an incredible fightback. By skilfully saving energy during the first half of the race, they were able to drive one lap more than most of their competitors. And, after pit stops, both drivers produced sensational performances to reduce the deficit over more than 10 seconds held by the leaders. Di Grassi even caught up with eventual winner, Sam Bird, before the end of the race and jostled with him for the chequered flag.
Di Grassi said, “I’m overjoyed to have clinched a podium for Audi in the successful Formula E premiere in Rome. After the start, I was only in eighth position, so second in the end is simply fantastic. It was an outstanding race that I’m very happy with. Thank you to Audi and everyone who voted for me in the FanBoost, which helped me to overtake Sébastien Buemi today.”
It could have just as easily been Abt on the podium alongside Di Grassi. Abt actually overtook his teammate at the start of the race but dropped behind him after a slow pit stop and a loss of communication over the team radio. He said, :I was completely on my own out there and had no information about energy management. I was fast anyhow and with the second car, fortunately, everything was okay. Sébastien and Andre didn’t make life easy for me. I lost a lot of time behind those two before being able to overtake them. Just one lap longer and I might even have finished on podium. But, as it is, we can be proud of having scored important points after starting from position nine and of having set the fastest race lap.”
Team Principal Allan McNish was thrilled with the race. “It was incredibly close in the end and there was no way to tell whether Lucas would win or finish third. It turned out to be second, plus fourth position and the fastest race lap for Daniel – we’re very happy and already looking forward to the next race in Paris.”
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass had similar sentiments after the race. “It was a fantastic start of the European season. The location in Rome is incredible and the track very nice. The race was action-packed and ended well for us. In view of our grid positions, it was an excellent race for Audi.”
We can’t promise you Formula E performance at Gerber Motorsport. But if you want to get your Audi tuned for the track, we can help. Get in touch with our team today.