The Audi pair of Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt both delivered great fightbacks after their disappointing qualifying performances at the 2018 Qatar Airways Paris ePrix. Di Grassi missed out on a place in the super-pole session by half a hundredth of a second, while Abt struggled in the first qualifying group to line up fourteenth.
But despite their lowly grid slots, both drivers made the best of their machinery, and got the elbows out to make up ground. Abt made his way inside the top ten by the end of the opening stint, despite the lack of overtaking possibilities around the tight and twisty Circuit des Invalides, finishing in seventh place by the end of the race.
After the race in Paris, Daniel Abt said: “The grid positions were a little disappointing, but in the race I had good overtaking maneuvers. I hope the fans enjoyed the show.”
“Unfortunately, I still lost a position on the last lap because my ‘best friend’ Buemi felt that he had to divebomb me in the chicane. Thanks also for the Fanboost that came in handy today. Next time, we need to do better in qualifying and then there’ll be a trophy again too.”
Di Grassi also put together a very strong race from sixth position, making up one place on Antonio Felix Da Costa off the line, and looked after his energy throughout that opening stint of the race. So much so that the Brazilian was able to go two laps longer than the race leaders.
Then, thanks to a quick pit stop from the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler squad, he jumped past the Venturi of Maro Engel into fourth spot. And with a succession of quick laps, he caught up to the back of Sam Bird and made light work of the Rome ePrix race winner. Andre Lotterer proved more challenging, with the German being very aggressive in his defence. But this meant he used too much energy and was easy pickings for Di Grassi on the last lap to claim his third successive second place finish.
After the race, Di Grassi said: “In the first part of the race, I saved energy. In the second part, I was able to go for all-out attack and clinch the trophy for second place. I’m overjoyed!”
Team principle Alan McNish said: “We saw brilliant fightbacks by Lucas and Daniel. Daniel is my driver of the day. In a pre-race meeting he said that he’s able to overtake in Paris even though everyone says that that’s impossible. He kept his word. It’s a shame that Buemi’s rough maneuver at the end cost him places. Lucas was again very strong with second and another fastest lap.”