ABT and Di Grassi score points as Formula E makes premiere in Africa
No trophies, but a strong race and valuable championship points: Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt took fifth and sixth places as Formula E made its debut in Africa. As result, the South American remains second in the overall standings and Sébastien Buemi’s closest rival. In the teams’ classification, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport still holds second place.
Spectators in Morocco enjoyed the longest race in the brief history of the electric race series, and another thrilling outing featuring different strategies and innumerable overtaking maneuvers. One of the main protagonists was once again Lucas di Grassi, who scythed impressively through the field from twelfth on the grid to fifth place. Team mate Daniel Abt finished sixth after a flawless run during the 33 lap race.
“Fifth place was the maximum today. I fought throughout the entire race to overtake the cars in front of me,” says Lucas di Grassi, who even made up 17 positions last time out in Hong Kong. “For today I’m satisfied with ten points. However, we’ll use the short winter break to analysis everything exactly so we can strike back in Buenos Aires. The situation isn’t new: last season we improved constantly. We’ll pool all our resources to do the same again.”
Daniel Abt crossed the line just a few seconds later in sixth place behind his team mate and, in doing so, scored his first eight points this season. “In qualifying I extracted the maximum to line up sixth, whereas in the race I was a little short of pace in the beginning,” says the German. “I’m delighted about the points, and will now analyze with the team exactly where we came up short before attacking again after the Christmas break.”
The crew displayed their nerves of steel once again: for the first time, the two drivers stopped at the same time to make their mandatory car change in the pits. The mechanics showed their experience and stayed cool to send their drivers back onto the track without losing any time.
“Of course our drivers and the entire team are more used to something different. Which is why they perhaps need a couple of hours before they recognize this double top-six result as small success,” says team Boss Hans-Jürgen Abt. In the 23 races so far, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport mounted the podium 18 times. “Today was not our best day, but even so we didn’t bury our heads in the sand and made the most of the difficult circumstances. Everybody in the team can be proud.”
After the race in Marrakesh, Formula E takes a short Christmas break before returning to the track in Buenos Aires on February 18, 2017. All the highlights of the ePrix in Morocco as well as other reports about Formula E are broadcast in Magazine on Eurosport, which starts at 23:05.
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