Sometimes a second place can also feel like a victory: with his tenth podium finish in the 14th Formula E race, Lucas di Grassi from Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport not only extended an impressive series, but also established himself in the title battle for the electric racing series. One element of the success was the perfect pit stop by the mechanics.
The Brazilian is the only driver to have claimed a trophy in all three races this season. Following second place at the opener in Beijing and victory in Putrajaya, di Grassi took yet another second place in Uruguay. He lies only one point behind current championship leader Sébastien Buemi from Renault e.dams.
After a mediocre start and some scrapping in the first half of the race, the pit stops, during which the drivers must swap cars, would prove to be the showdown for the race in Punta del Este. The South American peeled down pit lane in fourth position before returning to the track in second place. The mandatory minimum pit stop time is 59 seconds – di Grassi required a perfect 59.2 seconds.
“I can rely one hundred per cent on my guys in the pits. The trophy today should take pride of place in the workshop in Kempten,” said Lucas di Grassi after the race. Nevertheless, his eyes are fixed firmly on the future: “Renault and Sébastien Buemi are the favourites who need beating. But will be hounding them relentlessly and will be ready to pounce if they make the smallest error. It was a tough, action packed race today. The pit stop was crucial, and the team did the best job in the paddock under pressures.”
Team mate Daniel Abt started the race from seventh and finished eighth after 33 laps around the 2.785-kilometer track. At one stage, it looked as he could storm his way to the front alongside di Grassi. However, contact with the wall cost him several positions. “I made a good start and was running in the leading group. After the small mishap I concentrated on bringing the points home and chose not to take any more risks,” Abt said.
Hans-Jürgen Abt views the race in South America positively, which was held in high summer temperatures directly on the Atlantic coast. “Obviously we always want to win, but today we’ll celebrate this second place like a victory,” said the Team Boss. “The team showed once again that it has nerves of steel and can celebrate Christmas proudly. Yes we’ve lost the championship lead – but this is nothing more than a brief hiccup after the third race.”