- Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler to enter the forthcoming Formula E season as a factory outfit
- Lucas di Grassi at the wheel of an Audi e-tron FE04 is intent on retaining his title
- Test drives promise an exciting season, which opens in early December in Hong Kong
Emotions, not emissions: For Audi, a new chapter in motor racing is about to begin. The car manufacturer has made a commitment to field a works team in the 2018/19 FIA Formula E season, a decision that reflects a new corporate philosophy. Audi has announced its intention to introduce more than 20 electrical models into its vehicle range by 2025, including plug-in hybrids and wholly battery-powered electric cars.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, which has now taken on works team status, is also intent on making a big impression on the racetrack and building on past successes. And in Lucas di Grassi, they have the reigning FIA Formula E champion on board. His team-mate Daniel Abt is looking to make further progress and has been signed up as a fully-fledged Audi works driver.
Audi e-tron FE04 on the attack
Both drivers will compete in the new Audi e-tron FE04, and they know that they are up against formidable opposition. During the official test drives in Valencia, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler showed themselves in a positive light and, in addition to posting fast lap times, completed more kilometers on track than any of the other teams present.
The Audi e-tron FE04 is reliable and fast.Allan McNish
The new Audi e-tron FE04 racing car symbolizes the transformation of the company from classic automobile manufacturer to forward-looking mobility provider. The new team principal, ex‑Formula 1 driver Allan McNish, professed himself well satisfied with the development work so far: “The Audi e-tron FE04 is reliable and fast. Now it’s a matter of further optimizing the energy management and the software on the test stand and in the simulator.”
Fond memories of China
The world’s first electric racing series commences its new season in China on 2nd December 2017. Lucas di Grassi can look back on a successful personal record in Hong Kong – it was in China in 2014 that the Brazilian won the first ever Formula E race.
I believe our new car is highly competitiveLucas di Grassi
“I believe our new car is highly competitive,” said di Grassi. “We have used the three test days optimally in order to get ourselves well set up ahead of the season opener in Hong Kong. The lap times at the top were very close, so I’m expecting an exciting season.”
Competitive field challenging for the Formula E title
The final test day was a perfect illustration of how competitive the series is set to become, with the seven fastest drivers coming from seven different teams and all separated by less than half a second. Consequently, fans can already look forward to exciting races.
A test ban is now in force in Formula E until the start of the season in Hong Kong, the purpose of which is to keep overall costs down. Prior to the first fixture on the race calandar, the four Audi e-tron FE04s will be completely dismantled and rebuilt. In mid-November, they and the other 36 Formula E racing cars will be air-freighted by the series’ official logistics partner DHL from England to Hong Kong.