Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler put itself in a significantly better position in the battle for the title in the teams’ classification of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a commanding one-two finish. The championship will be decided in the twelfth and final race of the season on Sunday.
Stunning backdrop for a stunning final: the 33-point deficit, with which Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler came into the final weekend in New York, decreased to only five points in Saturday’s race. Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt demonstrated the strong performance of the Audi e-tron FE04 with a commanding one-two finish. This is the second one-two after Berlin in May this year. A long safety car phase for cleanup operations following an accident shortened the race in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline from 45 to 43 laps. At the finish, di Grassi held a 0.965-second advantage over his teammate.
For di Grassi, it was his eighth victory in Formula E and his sixth consecutive podium finish. The Brazilian inspired the public with his spectacular overtaking maneuvers, which took him from eleventh on the grid to second place behind his teammate before the mandatory car change. Daniel Abt only needed six laps to move into the lead from fifth on the grid. Shortly after changing cars, di Grassi overtook his teammate after he made a small mistake. “I didn’t have a racing car today, I had a rocket,” rejoiced di Grassi at the finish. “Obviously I would have liked to have won today,” said Daniel Abt, “but we have a big common goal – and that is to win the teams’ classification. For tomorrow, we also have a car with which we can win.” By achieving the fastest lap, the 25-year-old also secured another point in the hunt for the teams’ title.
Team Principal Allan McNish also made a rallying cry for this: “First of all, sincerest congratulations to Jean-Éric Vergne who replaced Lucas as the drivers’ champion, but we got a lot closer to his team today. From the huge gap, it is now down to only five points. As a result, our hand is much better and it’s now entirely up to us. I’m looking forward to an ultimate showdown in the finale tomorrow.”
The twelfth and final race of the 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship season starts on Sunday, July 15 at 15:00 local time.