ABT starts to second FIA Formula E Championship season in China

For the second season the team, together with technology partner Schaeffler, has developed its own powertrain for the single-seater racing car.

On Saturday (24 October) the second season of Formula E, the first international racing series for fully electric single-seater racing cars will start. The German Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport is going to embark on the world tour that begins in the Chinese capital with drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi. In Germany, Eurosport will be airing live coverage of the race.

10 international teams, 20 top drivers, 10 fascinating metropolises around the globe: the Formula E electric racing series caused a major stir in its inaugural season far beyond the motorsport scene. Now the summer break is over. Next Saturday at 16.00 (local time) Daniel Abt, Lucas di Grassi and the German team are going to start chasing the title.

Brand new electric motor

“"We're happy that we're finally going to race again"”, says Team Director Hans-Jürgen Abt. “"The preparations were strenuous, intensive, but successful. We're well set for the first race."” For the second season the team, together with technology partner Schaeffler, has developed its own powertrain for the single-seater racing car. An electric motor (named ‘'ABT Schaeffler MGU 01'’) and a 3-speed gearbox, plus an optimized suspension and the corresponding software, have been created. This is the package the only German outfit in the field will be competing with against its rivals.

Proven drivers

New technology, proven drivers: Daniel Abt (22) and Lucas di Grassi (31) will again be sitting in the cockpit of the ABT Schaeffler FE01, as the car is called this season. The Brazilian, who the year before was only defeated in the title race at the last event, looks forward to the season opener: “"I’'m just as excited as I was before the inaugural season. We've got a brand-new technology package with our electric motor, the gearbox and the other developments made in recent months. The impressions during the pre-season tests were absolutely positive – both in terms of reliability and our speed.”"

The expectations of his teammate Daniel Abt are high as well: “"The opener this year will be completely different than in 2014. All the teams have been gathering experience for a whole year, analysed everything after the season, and are now travelling to China with much better preparation,”" says the youngster.

New qualifying format

New for all the drivers will be the qualifying format: “Qualifying will be a huge challenge. We've only got a single lap now in 200-kilowatt mode – if you've got traffic or make a mistake that may well ruin your chance of clinching a good grid position. The Super Pole is truly a shootout of the best five drivers for pole position and the three points awarded for the top spot on the grid. That'’s going to be a real thriller for the fans.”

The 3.439-kilometre circuit in Beijing that is routed around the Olympic stadium has been slightly modified compared to last year. “"The organisers have removed a very slow chicane from the track configuration. Now the circuit is much faster, more fluid, nicer to drive on, and offers a lot more overtaking opportunities. The race will be a lot more exciting than last year”", says Lucas di Grassi. “"My memories of Beijing couldn't be any better. A little more than a year ago we won the first-ever Formula E race there. Beijing and the track are unique.”"

Two free practice sessions, qualifying and the race are held on a single day in Formula E – plenty of action for fans and drivers. In the near-one-hour race in the afternoon the drivers make one pit stop to change cars. The winner, like in Formula One, receives 25 points (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1) and additional points are awarded for pole position (3), plus the fastest race lap (2).

ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport

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About this article
Series Formula E
Event Beijing ePrix
Track Streets of Beijing
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Daniel Abt
Teams Team Abt
Article type Preview