Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler aim for hat-trick in Mexico

THERE are not many tracks that Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi have such fond memories as in Mexico.

Both drivers of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team have previously celebrated victories there and have set their sights on claiming the top spot again at the next round on Sunday (5am Brunei Time).

The previous two rounds in Mexico City numbered among the most spectacular races that Formula E has seen to date – and at both events, Audi drivers took the spoils: in 2017, Lucas di Grassi, on delivering a masterful performance of driving skill and strategy, pull off a sensational victory despite a collision on lap one to replace his rear wing.

A year later, from fifth on the grid, Daniel Abt went on to celebrate his first ever triumph in Formula E, which also marked the first success of a German in the fully electric racing series.

“Needless to say, it’s a great feeling for the whole squad to return to a venue with so many good memories,” said Team Principal Allan McNish.

“However, that doesn’t mean that we’re now preparing ourselves any less. Just the opposite: we made good progress in Santiago and saw how fast our Audi e-tron FE05 is. That’s exactly what we want to build on in Mexico to get us onto the podium again.”

Formula E will race on the 2.093-kilometre Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit for the fourth time. It is the only permanent race track of the season and the drivers love the circuit – particularly due to the very special atmosphere in the stadium filled with thousands of spectators.

“The Mexican fans are simply amazing and the atmosphere in the stadium is unique – we can even hear the fans cheering in the grandstands during the race,” said Daniel Abt.

Daniel Abt celebrates his first victory at the Mexico City E-Prix 2018. – PHOTOS: AUDI MOTORSPORT COMMUNICATIONS
Daniel Abt drives the Audi e-tron FE05 #66 for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler at the Santiago E-Prix 2019 last month

For the German, the season finally began for good on clinching his first podium, including the fastest race lap in Santiago.

“The trophy was a sweet reward for all of the hard work done by the whole squad the weeks before but, above all, it whets our appetite for more,” said Daniel Abt.

“Mexico will always have a special place in my memories, because that’s where I scored my first Formula E victory. We know that we’re able to repeat such a success if we pull off a perfect day.”

Lucas di Grassi demonstrated his class in Santiago on setting a fabulous time in the Super Pole qualifying, but ultimately went home without any points after several penalties. “Even though I ended up empty-handed, we learnt a lot in Santiago. The most important message is that we’re able to win races,” said the Brazilian. “Mexico is a track that suited us well in recent years.

“Although the cards have been completely reshuffled this season and the competition is fiercer than ever before, we’ll continue to work hard on improving ourselves. With an impeccable race day we can be in contention for the top spot.”

With one victory and three additional podium finishes, the e-tron FE05, jointly developed by Audi and technology partner Schaeffler, is the most successful car in the field after three races.

Besides the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler factory team, the Envision Virgin Racing customer team with Sam Bird and Robin Frijns also race with the Audi e-tron FE05.

Following Bird’s first victory this season in Santiago, the team are heading both the teams’ and drivers’ standings.

For Audi, the Mexican round marks one of the highlights on the calendar off the track as well.

The brand expects nearly 1,000 guests, many of whom will get a taste of the new models during an Audi driving experience event at the facilities of Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

The fourth round of the Formula E season in Mexico will last for 45 minutes, plus one lap.

Eurosport will air live coverage from Mexico City. All international channels including broadcast schedules can be found online at www.fiaformulae.com. Audi Motorsport Communications