Audi clinches first Formula E victory
Daniel Abt from the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler squad is the first German winner in Formula E history. The 25-year-old produced a faultless race in Mexico City to clinch the first victory for the Audi works team in the electric race series. His team mate Lucas di Grassi completed the big day for Audi with a comeback drive from last on the grid to ninth and the fastest race lap.
In front of an impressive backdrop and around 500 enthusiastic employees from Audi Mexico, both Audi drivers produced great drives, eliciting plenty of cheering in the grandstands.
Abt started the race from fifth on the grid, made up one place at the start and by half-distance was second behind Oliver Turvey in a NIO. Abt took the lead following a perfect pit stop and afterwards sped away from his pursuers in his Audi e-tron FE04. After 47 laps, the German had an advantage of 6,398 seconds. Ex-champion Sébastien Buemi, in a Renault, completed the podium.
“What a fantastic day - finally a win,” said Abt. “We have hard times behind us, but never gave up and took a commanding victory and ninth place here. I’m incredibly proud of everybody and can only thank the entire team. Both cars were simply perfect.”
Defending champion Lucas di Grassi was relegated to the back of the grid and also had to serve a 5-second penalty at the pit stop, because the inverter on his Audi e-tron FE04 had to be opened between the races in Santiago de Chile and Mexico City. The Brazilian fought his way through the field and scored his first points of the season with ninth place and the fastest race lap.
“That was an exciting race and a lot of fun,” said the Brazilian. “Congratulations to Daniel: a fantastic job!”
Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport, said after the problems that they had in the first races, this victory tastes particularly sweet. “We didn’t know exactly what to expect. After qualifying, the feelings were still a little mixed. Lucas drove fantastically and I’m absolutely delighted for Daniel.”
Team principal Allan McNish said Daniel drove an incredible race. “It was pure class how he overtook and put himself in position to win. The race from Lucas with the fastest race lap and a difficult comeback drive also gives us a huge boost - not just the race team, but also the people back at base, who have worked very hard between the races.”
Daniel Abt moves up to sixth place in the drivers’ classification after his first Formula E victory. In the teams classification, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler also holds sixth place after five of twelve races.
The next Formula E race will take place on 17 March in Punta del Este in Uruguay.
Daniel Abt enjoys his victory.