After two expectedly difficult weekends at the start of the season, the newly formed team is still without points. The backlog in terms of preparation and testing by the ABT team, which is operating as a customer team for the first time, and the temporary absence of Robin Frijns, one of the most experienced Formula E drivers ever, are too great. The kilometres from three races driven and all the practice sessions provide valuable data material that has been intensively analysed since the event in Diriyah.
ABT CUPRA now wants to take the next steps forward on the 2.835-kilometer circuit in the Indian financial metropolis of Hyderabad. The track is new to all teams, with everyone starting from scratch on Friday afternoon in shakedown and free practice. 32 laps will be completed on Saturday from 3 p.m. local time.
Nico Müller: “A very cool track”
If Nico Müller is right, then fans can look forward to an exciting race. “This is a very cool track,” says the Swiss ahead of his fourth race for ABT CUPRA. “Especially at the chicane on the long straight, we all don’t really know what to expect. The following tight hairpin will then also be very exciting.” After the preparations in the simulator, the drivers have a first impression, but there are still many unknowns. Müller: “The track is a lot of fun in the simulator, it’s all about finding a good rhythm. We’ll only see how the asphalt is and how many bumps there are when we are on site. I’m looking forward to India.”
Kelvin van der Linde: “A new adventure for me”
Kelvin van der Linde is contesting only the third single-seater race of his still young career in Hyderabad. “I’ve never been to India before, so just traveling to this new culture is an adventure for me,” says the 26-year-old South African. “After my laps in the simulator, I can say that the track is great, but it will also be a big challenge. I’ve also looked at onboard footage of other series that have raced there. There are some overtaking opportunities and so we can definitely expect a spectacular race.” Whereas van der Linde was recently one of only a handful of drivers in Diriyah who didn’t know the track, the situation is different now: “It’s a track that no one in the paddock knows – so we’re all arriving on a level playing field.”
Thomas Biermaier: “Proud of how everyone is taking on the task” The fact that the road back to Formula E will not be an easy one was already clear to Thomas Biermaier’s team before the start of the season. “Our entire team, all mechanics, engineers and race drivers, are used to success. Now we’re facing a whole new challenge, and I’m proud of how each individual is taking on this task,” says the team principal. “Everyone is working as hard as they can in their own area to make sure we catch up soon. With Formula E’s tight calendar, the steps are small at the moment, but they are going in the right direction. We’re going to India with exactly the same spirit.” Thomas Biermaier is more than satisfied with the debut of his reserve driver. “We didn’t throw Kelvin into cold water in Saudi Arabia, but into icecold water – and yet he did a great job. Not only on the track, but also in his feedback and work with the engineers. He should also go into the race in India without any pressure and enjoy Formula E for now.”