Audi Sport ABT lead the way

by Tom Errington

A strong choice of strategy and two great recoveries from Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt in the Putrajaya ePrix saw Audi Sport ABT take the lead in the team standings in the Formula E Championship.

Inaugural race winner di Grassi on finished the race in Putrajaya as the runner-up and thus defended his top spot in the driver classification.

At the rear of the field after the first turn and on podium a little less than an hour later: Lucas di Grassi was the protagonist yet again. The Brazilian had touched a wall in qualifying and had to start the race from the third from last grid position as a result.

With a perfect strategy, fortune during a few safety car periods, and strong lap times the crowd-pleaser took second place at the end of the 31-lap race.

Daniel Abt took an interesting strategy to the race. The German, who is only 21, qualified for third on the grid, outperforming names like Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna, Venturi GP’s Nick Heidfeld, China Racings Nelson Piquet Jr and Trulli GP’s Jarno Trulli.

A technical problem at the start when the motor initially failed to pick up power caused Abt to drop to the last position at the beginning of the race.

The team opted for an extremely risky strategy and called the youngster into the pits to switch cars after only eight of 31 laps. As a result, Abt led the field for a long time but in the second car had only a small amount of energy left so that he ‘anaemically’ lost ground on the final laps. Still, the point he scored for tenth place is the deserved reward for another terrific performance.

“This has been a day with ups and downs,” said Abt. “I was happy to start from third place again in this strong field. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, I lost ground at the start. The early pit stop was obviously a risk but our only chance to recover. It’s a shame that in the end tenth place was again the best we could do. It’s a great feeling to be at the top of the standings with the team – in Uruguay we’re going to attack again.”

After two of ten races Lucas di Grassi, who had won the inaugural race in Beijing in mid-September, continues to lead the driver standings.

“Congratulations to the race winners, as well as to the organisers of this perfect race weekend,” said the Brazilian. “Naturally, I hadn’t dared to dream of such a result following the qualifying session. Before the race we said to ourselves that we wouldn’t give up – this strength of will has paid off and is one of our great fortes. Working together with this team is huge fun. With two more races scheduled in the next seven weeks Formula E is now really picking up momentum – I can hardly wait.”

In the team classification Audi Sport ABT, thanks to the point-scoring finishes of its two drivers, has now taken the lead as well. The squads of Virgin Racing (whose driver Sam Bird won the race in Putrajaya) and e.dams-Renault are trailing the German squad in positions two and three of the standings.

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