Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler will give their all in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
While Benoît Tréluyer and his Audi Sport crew-mates, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler, still have a shot at winning the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship in Bahrain, they know it will be a very tall order. But that certainly won’t prevent the triple Le Mans winners from giving it their all in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Audi’s hopes of sealing the Drivers’ crow
In the wake of last weekend’s 6 Hours of Shanghai (October 30 – November 1), the 2012 world champions are well aware of the challenge they now face. With the Constructors’ title having been settled in Porsche’s favour, Audi’s hopes of sealing the Drivers’ crown are now wafer thin.
“We’re 12 points behind the #17 Porsche,” Benoît begins. “That means we must win while they finish no higher than fourth, which appears to be a somewhat difficult task. Nevertheless, we’ll fight until the end because we deserve to wrap up 2015 with a victory.
“Whatever happens in Bahrain, we can say that we’ve had a very good season. After all, it’s better to lose out in a highly competitive championship than being unchallenged and cruising to first. Should we finish as the runner-ups we’ll have nothing to be ashamed of.
“What really matters is to keep fighting as we’ve done throughout the year. Porsche have gone for the right energy class and worked very hard over the past two years, so they deserve to win the title. Luck has undoubtedly been on their side when they needed it, though, like at Fuji where they came pretty close to losing the race on the opening lap.”
The target is to win in Bahrain
Benoît and his team-mates’ clear target is to win in Bahrain and finish their 2015 FIA WEC campaign on a high, regardless of whether they clinch the title or not.
“Marcel, André and I have done a pretty good job overall during the races. If you factor in the fastest laps for each car we’re the quickest on average, but we’re hampered by strategy. Our problem since the start of the season has been the number of laps we complete over a single stint, which is less than what Porsche and Toyota normally achieve. It means that we’re not only covering less ground, but our opponents can also see what we do. That gives them a big edge since we can’t keep our cards close to our chest. Furthermore, we must admit that we have not always made the best calls in terms of tyre choice, but ultimately we were forced to take chances.”
Such gambles unfortunately didn’t pay off at Shanghai International Circuit, though the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro was once again very competitive.
“Personally I’m quite happy with how my two stints on full wets went,” Tréluyer adds. “I also pulled off a few nice overtakes, especially when I went from third to first at the start of my second spell behind the wheel. Our pace had been very good, as highlighted by André clocking the fastest lap of the race in his last stint.”
Benoît and his crew-mates eventually crossed the line in third to pick up their seventh podium in as many races this year. And take it from them: they’ll need more than that in Bahrain (November 19-21) if they’re to win a second world title.