The new ABT Schaeffler FE01 survived its baptism of fire...
The foundation is laid: with second place in the opener, Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport has scored the first important points in the new Formula E season. Now, Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt aim higher: on Saturday (November 7), the second race starts in Putrajaya (Malaysia).
One thing is sure since the race in Beijing: fans can look forward to an exciting season for the electric race series. For the first time in Formula E, not only do 10 teams and 20 drivers compete against one another, but also different drivetrain concepts. The new ABT Schaeffler FE01 survived its baptism of fire in China: Lucas di Grassi made the super pole shootout and finished second in the race, team mate Daniel Abt lost hard-won points due to a time penalty imposed after the race.
...we don't compete in Formula E to finish second.
Lucas di Grassi
"Beijing was a decent opener because it's always a good feeling to start the season with a podium," says Lucas di Grassi. "However, we don't compete in Formula E to finish second. This is why the team's preparation started the morning after the race. We know exactly where we need to work to reduce the deficit to the factory Renault team." While the engineers are busy with data analysis, Audi factory driver di Grassi contested the WEC race in Shanghai at the weekend before flying directly to Malaysia.
The 2.560-kilometer long track about an hours drive from Kuala Lumpur was venue of one of the most exciting race last year. Also responsible for this were Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, who produced strong races to charge from the tail end of the field to the front. The comeback drive ended on the podium for the 31-year old Brazilian. With a chicane at the end of the start-finish straight and several 90-degree corners, the track offers several good overtaking points.
"The weekend in Beijing was hugely important for the entire team. We learnt a great deal and can now make a more concerted attack in Malaysia," says Daniel Abt. "If Lady Luck choses to look our way then we'll also be able to fight for trophies again there." The youngster from Kempten will not as originally planned contest the final two WEC races, but in fact concentrate on Formula E.
"The level of competition is much higher in Formula E this season; there is absolutely no room for error," says Team Boss Hans-Jürgen Abt. "This is why it's even more important that we all 'drivers and teams' are perfectly prepared in Malaysia and totally focused. The target is the first win."
The second race of the season starts on Saturday at 14:00 local time (7:00 CET), in order to avoid the infamous monsoon rain in the afternoon.
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport