ABT CUPRA returns to China with Formula E

After a four-year break, Formula E returns to China: next weekend (25 and 26 May), the world championship will hold two races on the Shanghai circuit for the first time. After strong qualifying sessions and action-packed but low-scoring race performances, ABT CUPRA is aiming for tangible success in China.


Ten years ago, on 13 September 2014, the World Championship made its debut with a city race in China’s capital Beijing. The winner was Lucas di Grassi, who has since gone on to claim another 39 podiums, 12 victories, a Drivers’ title and a Teams’ title. Returning to his side in Shanghai will be Nico Muller, who recently missed the two races in Berlin due to a WEC assignment and was replaced by Kelvin van der Linde.

Formula E will use a significantly shorter version (3.051 kilometres) of the Formula 1 circuit and will skip the final section with the 1.2-kilometer straight. Drivers will complete 29 laps on Saturday and 28 laps on Sunday. The starting time for both races is 15:00 local time (9:00 CEST). The weekend means double duty for ABT’s motorsport department: the brand will be at the Lausitzring at the same time with the DTM. Just one week later, the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring will be another highlight for ABT.


Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO and Team Principal: “Important step for Formula E”

“The return to China is an important step for Formula E and all the teams, manufacturers and partners involved. Shanghai is a fascinating city where we have already competed twice with the DTM and have fond memories of the enthusiasm of the people. Kelvin did a good job in Berlin recently, but we are obviously delighted to have Nico back in the cockpit. We learnt a lot during the races in Berlin and the test day that followed, and now we want to put that into practice. Lucas and Nico are both keen to get back to scoring points.”


Nico Müller, #51: “Decision only in the last laps”

“It is great to be back in China as it is an important market for everyone in the Formula E family. The track is very flowing and wide by Formula E standards, so we’ll see a lot of sideby-side racing again. Energy management will be important, especially on Saturday. The races will only be decided in the final laps.”


Lucas di Grassi, #11: “The fans can look forward to some crazy races”

“I am really looking forward to returning to China. I clinched my first Formula E victory there ten years ago in the championship’s debut. For me, the Beijing street circuit is still one of the best tracks we’ve ever had. Now we come to the permanent Shanghai circuit, where I have already raced in Formula 1 and the WEC. It’s a very challenging and technical track, especially with the Formula E car. The fans can look forward to the next crazy races where we will also see several hundred overtakings.”


Did you know that ...

... Formula E has not raced in China for four years?

... the series previously held two races in Beijing (season 1), four races in Hong Kong (seasons 3, 4 and 5) and one race on the resort island of Sanya (season 5)?

... Lucas di Grassi will visit Zhejiang University on the Wednesday before the race to discuss electrification, digitalization and artificial intelligence with students?

... Nico Müller supported his team in Berlin on Sunday, looked after the two rookies on Monday and then spent a day with his wife’s family near Berlin?

... the DTM held an invitational race in Shanghai for the first time in 2004? Exactly 20 years ago, Mattias Ekström, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen and today's ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk, among others, competed for ABT.

... Gary Paffett, now team manager of the McLaren Formula E team, won the race on the street circuit in the financial district of Pudong?

... part of the ABT Formula E crew will travel directly from Shanghai to the Nordschleife to support the team?

... Nico Müller and Lucas di Grassi will visit partner ZF on Thursday before the race and meet more than 50 employees of the plant for interviews and autographs?

... Shanghai is the second of four consecutive double-headers?