ABT CUPRA with turbulent anniversary home races in Berlin

ABT CUPRA experienced two turbulent home races in front of sold-out grandstands and lots of guests and partners: Although Lucas di Grassi and Kelvin van der Linde, who stood in for regular driver Nico Müller for one weekend, did not score any points, they thrilled the fans at the former Tempelhof Airport with lots of action on the track. This was the tenth year that Formula E has started in Berlin. This makes the German capital the only city to host the championship every year since its inception.

Saturday’s race was particularly chaotic, with numerous accidents, collisions and safety car periods. Lucas di Grassi started from seventh place after a strong qualifying session in which he won his group and entered the duels for the first time. He was on course to score points in the race when he was hit by another car and had to retire. The penalty for the competitor was only little consolation. Kelvin van der Linde made an immediate impact on his Formula E comeback and drove from eleventh on the grid on Saturday to finish eleventh after a nose change in the pits.

On Sunday, it was Lucas di Grassi who missed the points by just one position. This time both drivers managed to stay out of the wreckage and stayed in the middle of the field throughout the race. Kelvin van der Linde drove from the penultimate grid position up to the top ten at times and finished in 15th place.

After three events in Europe, it’s back out into the world in two weeks’ time: on 25 and 26 May, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will hold two races at the Shanghai circuit (China). On this Monday there will be more track action in Berlin: Tim Tramnitz and Ricardo Feller will complete the rookie test for the ABT CUPRA.

Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO and Team Principal: “We didn’t achieve our goal of scoring points in front of our own fans. Nevertheless, we will take the positive aspects into the next races: We were the fastest in the group with Lucas in qualifying on Saturday and in the duels with him for the first time, and also had a decent qualifying on Sunday – that shows that we have finally arrived in the midfield with our package. For us to score points in the race, everything has to be perfect. That wasn’t the case this weekend in two rather chaotic races. Now it’s on to Shanghai, where we will have our next attempt on a new track.”

Lucas di Grassi, #11 (grid position P7/P12, race DNF/P11): “We are working hard. I’m very happy with our performance in free practice and qualifying, where we were not only in the midfield, but even at the front. Unfortunately, a rival robbed us of our well-deserved reward on Saturday and we missed out on points again on Sunday – it was our fourth eleventh place of the season. We are on the right track and will be scoring points again soon.”

Kelvin van der Linde, #51 (grid position P11/P21, race P11/P15): “It was nice to return to the Formula E team for a weekend, especially in front of our fans in Berlin. The races in this championship have changed a lot since my last outings a year ago and it wasn’t easy to keep track of everything. I would have liked to thank them for their great support with some points, but I didn’t want to risk too much, especially on Sunday. I’m now looking forward to the DTM and the Nordschleife – I wish Nico and Lucas all the best for the rest of the season.”