Podium in Chile
Daniel Abt has scored the first podium finish for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in a scorching E-Prix in Santiago.
Blistering temperatures marked a thrilling third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Santiago, Chile, with Audi scoring its first podium finish of the season.
28 January, 2019
Temperatures topped 37 degrees, making it the hottest Formula E race on record
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has claimed its first podium of the 2018/19 FIA Formula E Championship with a thrilling podium finish in the Chile E-Prix. German driver Daniel Abt secured the result as well as setting the fastest race lap in what was a hard fought race in searing conditions. With the mercury topping 37 degrees in the shade, conditions were tough for drivers and machines, but the Audi e-tron FE05 was unstoppable, showing its tremendous speed. Lucas di Grassi posted the fastest time in the first free practice session, and then went on to take pole position only to have it taken away on a rule infraction during the in-lap of the previous group qualifying.
In the race, Daniel Abt started from third on the grid, and ultimately finished the race in third to give the defending champions their first podium result in the season so far. Not only that, but the Audi customer team Envision Virgin Racing, featuring the Motor Generator Unit (MGU) developed jointly by Audi and technology partner Schaeffler, took its first race win for the team and netted the first victory for the Audi e-tron FE05 race car.
“That was an incredibly tough race,” Daniel Abt said at the finish. “It was extremely hot out there. But sometimes you just have to stay cool, and that’s what we did today. This first podium of the season is really important for our team. Our squad works hard and more than deserves this result. We’ve underlined that we’re making progress and are on the right track. And we’ll continue to fight.”
Unfortunately, despite his blistering pace all weekend, di Grassi was forced to start from the back of the grid, fighting from 22nd position back into the top 10, only to have his final position confirmed at 12th because of a time penalty.
“Today we saw many drivers making mistakes in very tough conditions,” said Allan McNish, Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. “I’m very proud of Daniel (Abt). After a strong qualifying performance under difficult conditions, he drove a clean race from start to finish and brought home the first podium result of the season for our team. A superb job! Lucas (di Grassi) had to fight his way back up from the very back of the field after his problem in qualifying and unfortunately didn’t score any points this time.”
“I’m very proud of Daniel ... he drove a clean race from start to finish and brought home the first podium result of the season for our team."
“The first win of the season thanks to our customer team Envision Virgin Racing and the first podium for our factory squad."
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass
“After a hot, action-packed and incredible Formula E race, it turned out to be an excellent result for Audi,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “The first win of the season thanks to our customer team Envision Virgin Racing and the first podium for our factory squad. It’s a pity that Lucas (di Grassi) was stripped of his pole position due to a minor infraction. He would certainly have been fighting for victory today. We’re taking many positive insights from this weekend to the next round in Mexico.”
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship now heads for Mexico on February 16 for the fourth round of the championship. This race is a particular favourite for Daniel Abt, given that it was in in Mexico last year that he won his first Formula E race and kicked off a run of success for the team that ultimately saw them take the title.
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