From zero to hero: How Audi won the Formula E teams’ title...

From zero to hero: How Audi won the Formula E teams’ title (part 2)

Audi, Daniel Abt
photo: Audi Sport

Seemingly trailing behind after the first third of the season and now the new champion following a gripping season finale: with focused work, team spirit and unbroken motivation, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler managed an impressive fightback in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The journey to the first teams’ title with a total of 264 points was marked by many emotional highs and lows. This is the second part of the story how the team got to the teams’ title.

Formula E arrives in Europe: its first appearance in Rome is dominated by Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt who, following a less than perfect qualifying, shine with fightbacks. Lucas di Grassi finishes second from sixth on the grid and Daniel Abt starts from ninth and goes on to finish fourth. On clinching these two top-five spots, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has advanced to fourth position in the teams’ classification.

Dieter Gass:

“A fantastic start to the European season!”

Techeetah: 152 points/Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 89 points

Second for the third time: Lucas di Grassi continues his string of success in Paris. His teammate, Daniel Abt, keeps himself busy on the track around the Dôme des Invalides. The German overtakes seven cars and scores valuable points with seventh position. As successful and even spectacular as the fightbacks of the Audi drivers are, qualifying remains a weakness.

Daniel Abt:

“I hope the fans enjoyed the show. Next time, we need to do better in qualifying and then there’ll be a trophy again, too.”

Techeetah: 188 points/Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 114 points

Home round! The former Tempelhof airport in Berlin is the venue of the German race which, embedded in the DFB Pokal final, achieves top viewing figures. About 1.5 million viewers witness the most successful race day of a team in Formula E’s near-four-year history: Daniel Abt clinches pole position, wins in front of Lucas di Grassi, sets the fastest race lap in the process and also leads over the whole race distance. 47 of 47 possible points – no other team has achieved this before.

Allan McNish: “A clean sweep on home soil, a day just can’t be better than this. I’m incredibly proud of the entire team!”

Techeetah: 205 points/Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 161 points

Before the series’ debut in Zurich, it’s clear that if the team wants to have a realistic chance of winning the championship it will have to score a lot of points in Switzerland. No sooner said than done: Lucas di Grassi, in the first international car race in Switzerland since 1954, in front of a record turnout of far more than 100,000 spectators, clinches his first victory of this season. Daniel Abt is less fortunate: Rival Nelson Piquet rear-ends him right after the start. Due to the necessary change of the rear wing, Abt finishes out of the points. In Zurich, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler reduces the gap by 11 points down to 33 before travelling to New York City for the final races.

Allan McNish:

I’m especially happy for Lucas’ crew that had a difficult start to the season and how they have come back fully. And of course, after the home round in Berlin, it’s also fantastic for Audi to have won the first circuit race in Switzerland in 64 years.”

Techeetah: 219 points/Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 186 points

Daniel Abt, Lucas di Grassi
photo: Audi Sport

Showdown in front of Manhattan’s skyline: 33 points have to be made up by Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in the last two races in New York City. Doable – that’s the general opinion in the paddock. Optimism within the team is huge. “We worked hard both on the race track and back home in Neuburg – even though it will be difficult, we now go to New York with a clear attitude and focus on the championship,” says Allan McNish. With a one-two – Lucas di Grassi wins ahead of Daniel Abt, who also posts the fastest race lap – the team reduces the gap to five points.

The race on Sunday, which Jean-Éric Vergne wins, becomes a real thriller. All four drivers of the competing teams, Techeetah and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, start the race within the top five. The title race remains open up until the last second. Then it’s clear: the second and third places clinched by di Grassi and Abt suffice to bring the teams’ championship, with a two-point advantage, home to Germany for the first time.

Allan McNish:

Now it’s reality: teams’ champions! This season was up and down, and everyone always did their best. Also today, when push came to shove, our drivers delivered the goods. A big thank you also goes to our base camp in Germany! Great teamwork! Great job!”

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 264 points/Techeetah: 262 points