Daniel Abt captured his first podium finish of the season for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
In the hottest race in Formula E history, the defending champion, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, captured its first podium finish of the season in Santiago de Chile.
The Audi e-tron FE05 passed its first test under intense heat and was, from the start, the car to beat. Lucas di Grassi stated that he drove the “best lap” of his Formula E career during the Super Pole shoot-out on the new city circuit, beating out the competition by half a second.
Teammate Daniel Abt secured the third position on the starting grid with his Audi e-tron FE05 and captured a third place during race as well – despite oppressive heat reaching up to 37 degrees even in the shade. The win was the first podium finish for defending champion Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in the 2018/2019 FIA Formula E Championship. Abt also earned an additional point for the fastest lap of the race.
37 degrees Celsius: The hottest race in Formula E history
“It was an unbelievably grueling race,” Abt said. “It was extremely hot out there. Sometimes you just have to ‘keep cool’. That’s what we did today. This first podium finish of the season is very important for our team.”
Due to a rules violation during the cool-down lap in group qualifying, Lucas di Grassi was forced to start in last place. The Brazilian fought his way back from 22nd place into point contention in ninth place. However, he incurred a time penalty as the result of a collision, which dropped him down to 12th place.
Sam Bird of the Audi customer team Envision Virgin Racing took the win in Santiago de Chile. The Briton forced the leader of much of the race, Nissan driver Sébastien Buemi, into an error and then fended off the Mahindra driven by former DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein. The strong showing by the Audi e-tron FE05 was rounded off by Bird’s teammate, Robin Frijns, who finished fifth.
The fourth race of the Formula E season will take place on 16 February in Mexico City. It was here that Daniel Abt won his first race in the electric racing series last year and laid the foundation for capturing the team championship.