Au­di clin­ches first For­mu­la E vic­to­ry

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Auto Dealer -

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.

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