News in and around Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport from Beijing.
The summer break is over. Formula E starts its new season in Beijing on Saturday (October 24). The anticipation among the fans and drivers is huge. For the first time on Friday, Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi walked around the track in heart of China's capital; but not before gathering their strength by drinking an exclusively prepared tea.
First outing in Beijing for the new ABT Schaeffler FE01
The new racecar for the 2015/2016 season completed its first kilometers of the season on the street circuit without problems: Daniel Abt und Lucas di Grassi familiarized themselves with the 3.439-kilometer track in two 30-minute tests on Friday afternoon. The track is slightly modified when compared to last year. A chicane after the first two corners was removed so that he track is now more flowing to drive.
Daniel Abt unveils his new helmet
Daniel Abt races in Beijing for the first time with his new helmet, which was designed exclusively for Formula E. Instead of white, black is the new base color, on top of this come the trademark flames. The sponsor on both sides is also new: the brewery Warsteiner advertises with its logo for the non-alcoholic version of its beer. Unanimous opinion about the new helmet design: "mean"
Premiere for different drivetrain concepts in Formula E
One motor or two motors, three gears or just one - in its second season, Formula E is also a proving ground for the different drivetrain systems. Every driver started in a spec car in the first year, in the meantime the complete drivetrain is free. Together with its technology partner Schaeffler, ABT Sportsline developed an electric motor, a three-speed gearbox and optimized suspension and the corresponding software.
Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi visit Chinese teahouse
George Bush, Henry Kissinger or Helmut Kohl, the teahouse in the heart of Beijing has seen many famous visitors. Before the race, the two ABT drivers paid a visit and had a stimulation herb tea brewed. There was also a detailed explanation about the traditional tea culture in Chinese history. "It's great when we find some time on our travels with Formula E to discover a little about the respective country and its culture," says Daniel Abt, who visited the Chinese Wall with di Grassi last year.
What's new in Formula E
Formula E features a modified qualifying format for the new season: the drivers initially set off on their fast laps in four groups of five cars. The grid positions from six to 20 are determined in this way. Afterwards, the five best drivers join the track one after the other for a single lap shootout called "Super Pole" and determine the pole position and the remaining grid positions. 170 instead of 150 kilowatts are now available in the race. The pit stop during which the car is changed is still mandatory. The FanBoost awarded via online voting on the website, Twitter or Instagram goes once again to three drivers, but is only deployed in the second car.
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport