Cries of joy were heard in the Audi pit, when Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt made it to the finish line on the second and third place. They achieved the long-thought impossible goal: The team championship of the Formula E in their first years as the works team. Thanks to a double win on Saturday and another double place on the podium during the final race one day later, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler scored two points more than Techeetah – a very tight race indeed. And this, even though the Four Rings scored only a total of 12 points during the first four season races. A well-deserved title after a long season with deep valleys and great highlights.
Audi wins the Formula E team championship in New York
During the Formula E final in New York, the Audi pilots Lucas di Grassi und Daniel Abt made it to the podium and secured the seemingly impossible team championship. But in the meantime, event location had to be evacuated...
Di Grassi and Abt achieve the second double win of the team’s history
New York City, the location for this year’s final weekend, lived up to its name of being an urban jungle. Pressing warmth within the house valleys of Brooklyn and humidity like being near the equator resulted in sweaty faces but also in nice summer feeling. On early Friday morning on the way to the waterfront, we’re passing honking cars. There’s still some construction work going on at the Formula E race track. During the “track walk”, it’s not only this year’s changes made to the race layout that are visible (the track was extended by a few curves) but also the necessity of sun screen.
On Saturday, it was about to get real. Even though the day was focused on the championship duel between Sam Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne, with the latter bringing the title home to France. But the two Audi drivers put on a good show as well: After Berlin, Di Grassi and Abt won the second double win of the team’s history and delivered a thrilling duel on the track that not only electrified the fans, but team lead Allan McNish as well. But in the end, all went well – the basis for the team title on Sunday.
In the evening, Audi partner Schaeffler send out invitations for a visit to a scenic rooftop bar in order to look back on the season together. A majority of the guests were impressed by the Manhattan skyline. But the all-new Audi e-tron FE05 that was presented on the roof top for this purpose, caught a lot of eyes. Thus, an all-around successful day for Audi found an atmospheric end.
Sunday race in New York was about to be canceled
During the night, heavy rainfalls were plaguing New York and even in the morning, there was still a lot of water on the streets. That also affected the Formula E race track and that was why the Sunday practice had to take place under wet conditions. During the qualifying at lunch time, the asphalt still hadn’t completely dried off, because there had been several downpours during the day.
But both Audi pilots made it into the super pole despite the difficult circumstances and thus guaranteed a good starting position for themselves, even though di Grassi touched the wall and only started on position 5. In the break between qualifying and race, the event organizer attracted attention with a surprising message: Due to a thunderstorm racing towards the Big Apple, the organizer started evacuating the area. Multiple fans had to exit the race track for periods of time. With a look on the weather radar, even a cancellation could have been possible. But the long-awaited thunderstorm didn’t come. The race’s administration decided that the final season race would take place as planned and the fans were allowed to back to the location.
The team title is a “little wonder” for di Grassi
Di Grassi had a good start at the race, while Abt didn’t have such a good start and lost some positions. However, the German demonstrated quite the fight and made it to position 3. While Abt was dueling with Sebastien Buemi during the whole race (it was all about the last place on the podium) di Grassi preyed upon frontrunner Vergne. The freshly crowned champion defended himself smartly and took a narrow victory back home with him. But it wasn’t enough for his team Techeetah to achieve the title, because the Audi duo scored enough points for the championship. After finishing the race, di Grassi called the team title “A little wonder”.
Formula E, New York E-Prix 2018
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler secured the title in the teams’ classification with impressive comeback drives in the season finale. Four podium positons during the weekend, including a one-two finish and 78 of a maximum of 94 possible points, turned a near unassailable deficit of 33 points before the final weekend into a 2-point advantage.Read more
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