Lucas di Grassi and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport made a good start to the new FIA Formula E season in Beijing: in the season opener, the Brazilian took second place in an exciting race. Despite his strong showing, team mate Daniel Abt went away empty handed after being handed a time penalty.
“It’s always a fantastic feeling to start a new season with a podium,” says Lucas di Grassi. “The trophy for second place is a fine reward for our hardworking mechanics, engineers and partners, who were unable to take a break in the summer.” Starting from fourth, di Grassi quickly moved up to third and thanks to his team’s perfect pit stop made up yet another position, which he held to the finish of the 26-lap race.
However, di Grassi has already set the next goal: “Today we’ll celebrate, but tomorrow we have to work even harder to close the gap to the competition.” The reason for that: Throughout the entire race day, the Renault factory team was superior and took pole position, the race win and the fastest race lap with Sébastien Buemi.
Daniel Abt narrowly missed adding a few more points to he successful outing. The German lost valuable practice time in the morning due to technical teething problems and, as a result, started the Beijing ePrix from eleventh place. After several nail-biting wheel-to-wheel scraps and some bad luck at a pit stop during a yellow phase, the youngster crossed the line in ninth. After the race, he lost his position and points because the stewards saw an unsafe release during the pit stop.
The opener in Peking was simultaneously the premiere for the new drivetrain, which the team developed in cooperation with technology partner Schaeffler. “The spectators saw an exciting race today in which not just the drivers fought with one another, but also in which the different concepts competed for the first time. We extracted the maximum and are satisfied with second place in the opener,” says Team Boss Hans-Jürgen Abt. “Congratulations to Lucas for a strong race, but also to Daniel for fantastic event. I’m convinced that he’ll score the points he deserves next time out.”
Fans don’t have to wait long for the next show of strength between the Formula E stars: in just two weeks (Saturday, November 7), the electric series stages its second race of the season in Putrajaya (Malaysia). Last year, Lucas di Grassi took second place in the shadow of Kuala Lumpur.