|Début||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Key People||Hans-Jürgen Abt|
|Driver(s)||Lucas di Grassi (No.1)|
Daniel Abt (No.66)
|Car||Audi e-tron FE04|
|Website||Audi Sport ABT|
|Last Season||2nd (248 pt(s))|
|First Win||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Entrant||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|20th (0 Pt(s))||10th (12 Pt(s))|
Historically, ABT Sportsline have finished as runners-up in two of the three previous Formula E Championships, while lead driver di Grassi has challenged for the title in each.
Audi Sport ABT are one of a number of teams that have resulted from the association with ABT Sportline and Audi since the late 1990s. The pair have a significant and successful record in motorsport, being multiple DTM champions and Formula Three winners. It is thought that the involvement of the team with Formula E will see Audi become involved in the series after 2015.
Formula E HistoryEdit
Audi Sport ABT were the first German team to be announced as entrants in the championship, with two drivers who have a long association with the team, Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt. Their season started brightly, as di Grassi swept home to take victory in the 2014 Beijing ePrix, writing himself and Audi Sport ABT into the history books as the first winners of an ePrix. The team continued to have a strong season, with di Grassi leading the championship until the 2015 Miami ePrix.
Abt's season failed to improve after the halfway mark, with the German struggling to support his team mate's title challenge. Di Grassi looked to have won the 2015 Berlin ePrix, only to be excluded because of a 'repaired' front wing. He ultimately missed out on the title by eleven points, with Audi Sport ABT also dropping to third on the final day, having sat in second, behind e.dams-Renault, for the majority of the season.
German technology giants Schaeffler were drafted into Audi Sport ABT when the homologation process for season two cars opened in February 2015. Schaeffler built their own powertrain for the new season, with the team renamed to incorporate the new partnership as Audi took a back step. The team retained di Grassi and Abt from season one, and then demonstrated the new powertrain had incredible pace as the Brazilian flattened the lap record at Donington Park during the 2015 Donington Test. Their inherent pace was demonstrated at the season opening round in Beijing, with di Grassi taking second place to pre-season favourite Buemi.
The team would collect their first win of the season at the 2015 Putrajaya ePrix, with di Grassi sweeping to victory by surviving the intense heat. From that point onwards it would be the Brazilian would be in the title hunt, taking two podiums at the following two rounds, before taking a second victory at the 2016 Mexico City ePrix. That was, until the officials deemed that one of di Grassi's cars was found to be underweight, a fact that saw the Brazilian disqualified, with ABT Schaeffler opting not to appeal.
The disqualification put di Grassi on the back foot, but the Brazilian would take two victories at the 2016 Long Beach ePrix and the 2016 Paris ePrix, the latter particularly satisfying as it came on major rivals Renault e.Dams' home turf. Unfortunately for ABT Schaeffler, the following round saw Buemi and e.Dams respond by taking victory at the 2016 Berlin ePrix, the home race for the German team. That victory also allowed Buemi to get to within a point of di Grassi at the top of the standings, despite second driver Abt's attempts to swap positions with the Brazilian late in the race.
Into the 2015/16 season finale in London and the first race saw Renault almost effectively secure the Teams' Championship, although di Grassi would extend his title lead, having battled up from the mid-pack. Into the season ending race and pole for Buemi left him and di Grassi level on points, with the Brazilian ahead by virtue of an extra third place finish, but he would start the 2016 London ePrix II directly behind his title rival. As it turned out, the Championship looked to have been decided as early as turn three, when di Grassi misjudged the closing speed of Buemi and rammed into the back of him, sending both cars into the run off with heavy damage.
Yet, Buemi and di Grassi would both limp their damaged cars back to the pits to swap to their second cars, with the two suddenly in a duel to set fastest lap. The fight saw di Grassi do his best to prevent Buemi setting a fastest lap by simply blocking his attempts, although the ploy failed when e.Dams managed to get Buemi out behind teammate, and race leader, Nicolas Prost, allowing him to set a time almost half a second quicker than di Grassi. The Brazilian missed out in the finale once again, while teammate Abt ensured that the team would finish third with a place on the podium.
ABT Schaeffler opted to retain di Grassi and Abt for the 2016/17 season, with the pair helping the team to prepare the new ABT Schaeffler FE02 ahead of the 2016 Donington Test. The team would be bolsted by news that Audi were looking to increase their involvement, with the German marque rumoured to be interested in taking over the team for the 2017/18 season, rather than simply providing support. As for the test, di Grassi and Abt both ended up in the top ten on overall pace, with the new car also proving to be a reliable runner.
Formula E RecordEdit
Below are a series of tables outlining ABT Sportsline's statistical record in Formula E.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 'Teams: Audi Sport ABT', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/teams/audi-sport-abt.aspx, (Accessed 16/07/2015)
- ↑ 'Audi unveils e-tron FE04', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/audi-unveils-e-tron-fe04/, (Accessed 27/09/2017)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'ABT Sportsline', wikipedia.org, (WikiMedia, 07/07/2015), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abt_Sportsline, (Accessed 16/07/2015)
- ↑ 'Lucas di Grassi snatches win after dramatic last corner crash', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi excluded from DHL Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/di-grassi-excluded-from-dhl-berlin-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 28/06/2015)
- ↑ 'Eight manufacturers to enter Formula E next season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/02/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/february/eight-manufacturers-to-enter-fia-formula-e-from-second-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- ↑ 'FIA announces 10 teams to register for season two', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/july/fia-announces-10-teams-to-register-for-season-two.aspx, (Accessed 02/07/2015)
- ↑ 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 'Di Grassi stripped of Mexico win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/03/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/di-grassi-stripped-of-mexico-win.aspx, (Accessed 13/03/2016)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi triumphant in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-wins-visa-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 23/04/2016)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 'Buemi win cuts di Grassi's lead to just one point', fiaformula.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/05/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/may/buemi-win-cuts-di-grassi-s-lead-to-just-one-point/, (Accessed 21/05/2016)
- ↑ 'BUEMI AND DI GRASSI CHARGE UP THE ORDER, BUT IT’S PROST WHO LEADS THE WAY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/prost-wins-in-style-as-di-grassi-inches-closer-to-title/, (Accessed 03/07/2016)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 'BUEMI WINS TITLE AFTER SPECTACULAR FINALE: VISA FASTEST LAP ENDS UP DECIDING THE 2015/16 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-wins-title-after-spectacular-finale/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
- ↑ 'TEN TEAMS ENTERED FOR THE 2016-17 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ten-teams-entered-for-the-2016-17-fia-formula-e-championship/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- ↑ 'AUDI TO INTENSIFY FORMULA E PROGRAMME: AUDI WORKING TOWARDS FULLY-FLEDGED FACTORY COMMITMENT FOR 2017/18 SEASON WITH ABT SCHAEFFLER', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/09/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/audi-to-intensify-formula-e-programme/, (Accessed 12/09/2016)