- Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler claim their first team title
- Closest finale in history of series: Championship clinched by two-point margin
- Lucas di Grassi finishes as campaign runner-up in late sprint
“What a nail-biter,” said a jubilant Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team boss Allan McNish afterwards. “This final race was literally electrifying.” It would be hard to imagine a more thrilling conclusion to the 2017/18 ABB FIA Formula E. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Big Apple skyline, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler secured the team championship title at the very last moment.
The first German manufacturer to enter the innovative electric racing series thus claimed a maiden win in the team classification. In the three previous seasons, the title had always gone to Renault e.dams. But in the closing fixture of the season, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler prevailed over Techeetah, the team of newly-crowned champion driver Jean-Eric Vergne. After twelve races, Lucas di Grassi and team-mate Daniel Abt prevailed by a margin of just two points, the closest championship result in the history of ABB FIA Formula E.
Pursuit by di Grassi and Abt
Di Grassi and Abt both mounted a spectacular charge through the field in New York. Four podiums in the two races, including a one-two victory, and a haul of 78 points from a maximum available of 94 was enough to cancel out a daunting deficit of 33 points going into the weekend and convert it into a slender two-point lead.
Di Grassi and Abt have been contesting FIA Formula E since its inaugural season and have been sponsored throughout by DHL, the series’ Official Logistics Partner. Winning the team championship called for a determined effort by everyone involved. After a mediocre start to the season, di Grassi and Abt mounted a determined assault.
This is a minor miracleLucas di Grassi
Di Grassi has consistently featured on the podium in the last seven races, winning ePrix races in Zurich and New York. And that was after failing to score a single point in the first four races of the season. Last year’s champion has recently become a father, so finishing as runner-up in the driver’s championship has really put a shine on events: “This is a minor miracle. It still turned out to be an exceptional season for me and also our team. We never give up, and winning the team title after such an incredible comeback is the best proof of this.”
Abt delighted with most successful season to date
Abt has had by far his most successful season of the four he has been competing in the series and rounded it off with a tour de force in New York. In the first race, the 25-year-old crossed the finish line second behind winner di Grassi. On Sunday, Abt made a further significant contribution to winning the team championship with another podium finish.
He also set the fastest race lap on both days to make him the most successful driver of the season in this category – a total of four. The two Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler drivers managed this feat in seven of the twelve races, more than any other team on the grid.
We had a big goal and we achieved itDaniel Abt
“We had a big goal and we achieved it,” said Abt. “What a comeback – I’m happy and delighted for the entire team. And this includes not just the people at the track, but also all of our partners.”
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler together with partner DHL have written their name in lights by winning their first team championship, registering the first double one-two win for a team and the most podium finishes in a single ABB FIA Formula E season.