The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team said goodbye to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship after the Berlin E-Prix on Sunday, and they left with a fourth-place finish in the Teams’ standings.
Lucas di Grassi ended his seven-year stint with the team with a seventh-place finish in the Drivers’ championship, while René Rast scored a ninth-place finish at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit to keep him thirteenth in the standings. Both drivers were in contention for the title right until the final race of the year.
Di Grassi admitted it was an emotional weekend for everyone involved in Audi’s Formula E programme, and he says it was a shame the team is pulling out of the category after the season’s end.
He qualified seventeenth in the season finale in Berlin but was only a tenth of a second away from making it into the top six. However, after contact with António Félix da Costa, a penalty ended his chance of taking the Drivers’ Championship.
“It was a very emotional weekend,” said di Grassi. “In seven years we have achieved an extreme amount with Audi Sport, ABT and Schaeffler.
“That this successful partnership is now coming to an end is a great pity. In qualifying I was one tenth of a second short of Super Pole. It’s always tight in Formula E. But it has never felt so tight.”
“Our team can be extremely proud of what we have achieved together” – Allan McNish
Allan McNish, the Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, says the team can be extremely proud of what they have achieved in the seven seasons in Formula E, and the fantastic journey came to an end on Sunday afternoon.
The season saw Audi score a one-two finish in the Puebla E-Prix earlier in the year, while their final win in Formula E before their departure came in Saturday’s opening race in Berlin, courtesy of di Grassi. In total they took fourteen victories and forty-seven podiums in Formula E, with di Grassi taking the Drivers’ title in 2016/17, a year before Audi won the Teams’ title.
McNish says the efficiency of the drive train has been Audi’s biggest strength during their final year, and they can be proud of their results during the season on the way to fourth in the final standings.
“Our biggest strength this year was definitely the efficiency of the drive train in the race,” said McNish. “Lucas and René thrilled the fans with two wins, the 1-2 in Mexico and also comeback drives.
“This season was incredibly close with tough on track battles and our team can be extremely proud of what we have achieved together. It’s been a fantastic journey.”