Audi Sport Formula E Team wrote motorsport history in Beijing. Lucas di Grassi won the inaugural race of FIA Formula E Championship that was held on a 3.4 kilometer street track. The dramatic race was only decided in the penultimate corner of the 25 laps.
The engineers, mechanics and drivers of Team ABT Sportsline were keeping their heads cool and with grid positions two for Lucas di Grassi and three for Daniel Abt captured good starting bases.
In the race di Grassi and Abt initially defended their positions but lost a bit of ground during the pit stops about halfway through the race. Finishing the race in positions three and five seemed a certain outcome when the two leading cars collided with each other in a spectacular crash in the penultimate corner and retired. Lucas di Grassi crossed the finish line as the winner.
“Today a small dream has come true,” said di Grassi. “I had huge fun from the first to the last lap. The races in Formula E pose a unique challenge because you not only have to be a racing driver but watch your energy management in the process of driving. Obviously, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time on the last lap – but that’s part of racing. Thanks to my team and sponsors for making this possible. Now I’m going to travel directly to Austin to contest the WEC race with Audi next weekend with plenty of motivation.”
— Electric Autosport (@EVsportsnews) September 13, 2014
Daniel Abt was initially classified in third place but was subsequently relegated. In a strong race the driver from Kempten, Germany, had exceeded the energy consumption limit by 0.2 kilowatt hours (28 kilowatt hours are permitted per car), received a time penalty and achieved 10th place.
“I’m leaving Beijing with mixed feelings,” said Abt. “I felt absolutely comfortable in the team and in the car and was happy about third place on the grid. In the race I was able to keep the pace throughout and would have mounted the podium in the end despite a somewhat unfortunate pit stop. I’m proud of this premiere, as well as of the team’s victory clinched by my team-mate. Congratulations to Lucas! I’ve got to accept that I received a penalty. It was about 0.2 kilowatt hours that I’m sure did not affect the outcome of the race. But rules are rules.”
“Obviously, we dreamt of a start like this but also worked hard for it”, knew team director Hans-Jürgen Abt. “Congratulations to Lucas on this absolutely deserved victory, but also to Daniel, who clearly showed his potential with his grid position and a strong race.”
The next round will be held in Putrajaya (Malaysia) on 22 November 2014.