In front of full grandstands at Tempelhof, Daniel Abt won his second Formula E race and went one better yet: In addition to pole position, victory and the fastest race lap, the German led all 45 laps in the 9th race of the season. He is the first driver in the fully electric racing series to have achieved this “clean sweep.” While Sébastien Buemi (opening round of season 2) and Felix Rosenqvist (opening round of season 4) had scored the maximum number of points before him, they had not led every lap of the race.
In other points, as well, the fourth Berlin race was an event of superlatives. The grandstands were sold out long before the race, an E-Village featured countless attractions such as the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo and the camouflage prototype of the future Audi e-tron. Some 450 Schaeffler employees cheered Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi on from their own grandstand. On television, the event set a German record too as nearly 1.5 million viewers watched the live ARD broadcast alone on Saturday evening.
With more than 100 points scored in the past three races Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler moved back into striking distance of the manufacturers’ championship. 44 points still need to be made up in the remaining rounds in Zurich (June 10) and in New York (July 14/15).
A word from Daniel Abt
Looking back a few days later: what does May 19, 2018 mean to you?
I haven’t really digested all this yet. I feel like my pulse is still somewhere in the range of 180 whenever I think about it. That Saturday has no doubt been the best day in my motorsport career to date. Not just because I won but because it was an absolute highlight for Audi and our team.
Was there a moment in Berlin you remember particularly well?
There were so many, especially the many touchpoints with the fans that gave us such a warm welcome and supported us. Obviously unforgettable as well are the minutes on podium when you stand in front of your own fans on home soil and the national anthem is played. The ceremony in Formula E is unique and addictive.
In addition to the largest number of points ever scored by a team on a single day, you clinched the first “clean sweep” in Formula E history. What does it take to make such a perfect day?
Unfortunately, you can’t wrap that into a formula. The most important element, perhaps, was that we’re gradually getting over our weakness in qualifying. When you start from the front you can do your own thing and it’s easier to get into your rhythm. I wasn’t even shooting for the fastest lap at all. It somehow happened all by itself.
What makes the Audi e-tron FE04 so strong this season?
Audi and our partner Schaeffler did a superb job of developing the new powertrain pre-season. While the Formula E field in qualifying is still balanced and extremely close we can fully use the efficiency of our motor in the race. Also, all the procedures and systems in the team are running perfectly smooth and as drivers we feel totally comfortable in the Audi e-tron FE04.
May we ask how the post-race party was on Saturday?
Needless to say, the party was fantastic. It was also great that many guys from the team were there. When I got back to my hotel in the morning my team principal, Allan McNish, was just boarding a shuttle heading for the airport – that was a very funny encounter. He even immediately tweeted pictures of me and my breakfast kebab. This shows what kind of a great atmosphere we have in our team.
How are you going to reward yourself or relax after the days in Berlin?
This week I’m going to fulfill a big wish of mine and travel to the Indy 500 race in the United States. That’s been on my list for a long time but never worked out before due to my own races and commitments. Conor Daly, my former teammate in GP3, is racing there and will be my personal tour guide.