Di Grassi: Audi hasn't retained powertrain advantage

shares
comments
Di Grassi: Audi hasn't retained powertrain advantage
By: Alex Kalinauckas
Oct 24, 2018, 3:40 PM

Lucas di Grassi reckons Audi does not have the powertrain advantage it enjoyed over its Formula E opposition in season four, as the electric championship heads into its 2018/19 campaign.

Audi clinched the 2017/18 teams’ title at the final round in New York after recovering from early-season technical and penalty dramas, which left it with just 12 points from the first four rounds.

It went on to score four wins and seven podiums – including seven rostrum visits in a row for di Grassi – as its powertrain technology gave the team an efficiency advantage over the rest of the grid. 

When asked about the results of Audi’s pre-season testing at Valencia, di Grassi said that the e-tron FE05 powertrain is “not as good as last year [in terms of] the difference [to the opposition]”. 

“I’m feeling good – I think we are competitive, but we don’t have any margin,” he told Motorsport.com.

“The car is quite good, the drivetrain is maybe the top three-four.

“Last year we had a good advantage, especially in the second half of the season after we sorted [the powertrain] out. 

“But this year, I think it’s going to be super close. I think this year everybody has stepped up their game.”

Audi left Valencia with the fifth fastest time in the overall order, 0.558s slower than the table-topping BMW Andretti squad, while di Grassi completed a 33-lap stint on the second morning of the three-day test, which was the longest run of the week by any driver.

The season three champion suggested the signs from testing point to a tight competitive spread in the upcoming season.

“It is difficult to find a correlation between here and the [FE street-based] racetracks,” he said. “But historically, who was quick in the pre-season test was quick during the season as well. 

“I think this year is much tighter – it will be a very tough field. With probably the top 10-12 with chances to win a race. 

“What I can say is that we are ready – reliability is good, everything is good, the car is ready. 

“If we have a performance advantage we will only know in Riyadh with 45-degrees track temperature, with that specific tarmac – that’s the only way to say.

“[But] in terms of drivetrain advantage, I don’t think we have an advantage, but I don’t think anyone else is very far away from anybody. I think it’s quite close.”

Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE05

Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE05

Photo by: Dom Romney / LAT Images

Next article
Jaguar boss takes over as head of FE teams' association

Previous article

Jaguar boss takes over as head of FE teams' association

Next article

Juncadella lands HWA reserve role for 2018/19

Juncadella lands HWA reserve role for 2018/19
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Lucas di Grassi
Teams Team Abt
Author Alex Kalinauckas
Article type Breaking news