ABT CUPRA scores points at Formula E debut in Shanghai

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returned to China with two races in Shanghai. The fans in the grandstands of the impressive facility in the northeast of the city witnessed two action-packed days with numerous exciting duels and lead changes. With a hard-fought tenth place for Lucas di Grassi on Saturday, ABT CUPRA made it back into the top ten, while the Brazilian and his team-mate Nico Müller did not score any points on Sunday.

Saturday’s turbulent race was only decided in the final laps. Nico Müller and Lucas di Grassi drove a race dominated by strategy, concentrating on saving energy for the final sprint in the first half of the race. In the process, di Grassi managed to move up from last place to tenth. Nico Muller was even in the top ten for a long time with a promising energy reserve, but then dropped back to 15th place after a collision in the scramble through no fault of his own.

Sunday’s race developed into a real heat battle with temperatures above 30 degrees and high humidity. The ABT CUPRA team suffered from that: Lucas di Grassi had to make a pit stop to clean his radiator intake of vehicle parts. Nico Müller’s journey from 17th place on the grid to the top ten also came to an early end when grass from beside the track blocked the cooling system and he had to fight with blunt weapons in the last third of the race.

After six fortnightly events in South America, Asia and Europe, Formula E is now taking a four-week break. The championship will resume on 29/30 June in Portland, Oregon, in the northwest of the United States. The tenth season will then conclude on 20/21 July with two races in the British capital, London.

Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO and Team Principal: “It was great to finally be back in China with Formula E. The response from fans, partners and media was very positive throughout the weekend. From a sporting point of view, there is at least a glimmer of hope with a top ten result in this strong field. My compliments to the whole team for not dropping their heads in the face of all the challenges. On the contrary, we tried everything with both cars, with different set-ups and different strategies, but were hardly rewarded for the enormous effort. After six races every two weeks, everyone can now take a deep breath and then we will throw everything into the final sprint of the season in Portland and London.”

Lucas di Grassi, #11 (grid position P16/P19, race P10/P19): “This was one of the most hard-fought points you can imagine. Now we’re looking ahead: Portland and London are two weekends that could not be more different – one a high-speed circuit and the other a tight track where qualifying will be more important again. Looking at the standings, we have reduced the gap to ninth place in the team standings and we want to be one place higher after the next two races.”

Nico Müller, #51 (grid position P15/P17, race P15/P15): “Even if it doesn’t look like it when you look at the results: The work of the team, our strategies and their execution were very good throughout the weekend. However, on a track like Shanghai, we know that the opportunities to make progress with our package are very limited. We won’t be discouraged and will work even harder to score more points in the two remaining races.”