ABT electrifies Berlin: one-two finish in Formula E home race

Audi electrified Berlin with a fairytale finish at the Formula E home race. Thanks to pole position, a dominant one-two finish and the fastest race lap, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is the first team to score maximum points on a race day of the electric racing series.

The beaming and enthusiastically celebrated winner by the Berlin public was called Daniel Abt. The 25-year old German produced a perfect performance at his home race. Despite having to qualify in the unfavored first group, Abt qualified effortlessly for the single timed lap for the fastest five, where he threw down the gauntlet and easily clinched the first three points for the second pole position of his Formula E career. This was followed by a dominant start-finish victory and as crowning glory the point for the fastest race lap.

“That was probably the most important win of my career so far and an incredible day from beginning to end,” said Daniel Abt, after having been presented with the winner’s trophy from Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer. “Maximum points with pole position, victory and the fastest lap and then on top of this a one-two for Audi – my thanks go to everybody who supported us. Today there will be a party like never before!”

The Audi one-two finish in the home race in Berlin was made perfect by Lucas di Grassi. The defending Champion set the fastest lap in qualifying with his Audi e-tron FE04, but then had a short slide that dropped him down to fifth on the grid. After the start, the Brazilian needed only twelve laps to move his way up to second place. Thanks to a faster pit stop, the Brazilian caught up with his team mate and subsequently drove effortlessly home in second place. The third placed Jean-Eric Vergne in Techeetah was already more than twelve seconds behind at the checkered flag.

    A word from Daniel Abt

    Looking back a few days later: what does May 19, 2018 mean to you?
    I haven’t really digested all this yet. I feel like my pulse is still somewhere in the range of 180 whenever I think about it. That Saturday has no doubt been the best day in my motorsport career to date. Not just because I won but because it was an absolute highlight for Audi and our team. 

    Was there a moment in Berlin you remember particularly well?
    There were so many, especially the many touchpoints with the fans that gave us such a warm welcome and supported us. Obviously unforgettable as well are the minutes on podium when you stand in front of your own fans on home soil and the national anthem is played. The ceremony in Formula E is unique and addictive. 

    In addition to the largest number of points ever scored by a team on a single day, you clinched the first “clean sweep” in Formula E history. What does it take to make such a perfect day?
    Unfortunately, you can’t wrap that into a formula. The most important element, perhaps, was that we’re gradually getting over our weakness in qualifying. When you start from the front you can do your own thing and it’s easier to get into your rhythm. I wasn’t even shooting for the fastest lap at all. It somehow happened all by itself.

    What makes the Audi e-tron FE04 so strong this season?
    Audi and our partner Schaeffler did a superb job of developing the new powertrain pre-season. While the Formula E field in qualifying is still balanced and extremely close we can fully use the efficiency of our motor in the race. Also, all the procedures and systems in the team are running perfectly smooth and as drivers we feel totally comfortable in the Audi e-tron FE04.

    May we ask how the post-race party was on Saturday?
    Needless to say, the party was fantastic. It was also great that many guys from the team were there. When I got back to my hotel in the morning my team principal, Allan McNish, was just boarding a shuttle heading for the airport – that was a very funny encounter. He even immediately tweeted pictures of me and my breakfast kebab. This shows what kind of a great atmosphere we have in our team. 

    How are you going to reward yourself or relax after the days in Berlin? 
    This week I’m going to fulfill a big wish of mine and travel to the Indy 500 race in the United States. That’s been on my list for a long time but never worked out before due to my own races and commitments. Conor Daly, my former teammate in GP3, is racing there and will be my personal tour guide.