Formula E: ABT looks forward to Formula E showdown in London

Who will be the first Champion in FIA Formula E history? This question will be answered this coming weekend after two races (27 and 28 June) in London. In the role hunter: Lucas di Grassi from the ABT Sportsline team, who comes to the showdown 17 points behind his Brazilian countryman Nelson Piquet Jr.

Asia, South America, North America, Western Europe, Moscow – and now London: on its journey around the world, Formula E reaches the goal of its premiere season this weekend and in doing so offers motorsport fans a showdown to their liking: the recipient of the championship crown will only be revealed in the final two races of the year that are held on Saturday and Sunday in Battersea Park.

Only 23 points separate the hottest contenders Nelson Piquet Jr., Lucas di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi. Sixty points, including extra points for the best grid positions and fastest race laps, are still up for grabs. Reason: Formula E stages two races on a weekend for the first time this season. The fans experience two identical days featuring practice, qualifying and races in the near sold-out Battersea Park. Only Piquet Jr. can wrap up the title on Saturday.

ABT Sportsline is full of fighting talk before the showdown. “One thing is clear: we will fight for the title all the way to the final lap of the last race,” says Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian mounted the podium six times in the previous nine races – more often than any other driver in the field. In Argentina, a technical defect prevented a top result. At his team’s home race in Berlin, he was subsequently stripped of his commanding race victory due to small changes on the front wing. Di Grassi: “We accepted the decision for the good of the sport and answered on the track. We will also do this in London and make up the points lost this season.”

Daniel Abt supports Lucas di Grassi in his bid for the title. The German has regularly been one of the fastest drivers in the field and has big plans for the finale. “We aim to put up another really hard fight in London and put the competition under pressure. The best way to help Lucas is to take points from the other drivers,” says Abt. The youngest driver on the grid comes to the finale with plenty of momentum: on his Le Mans debut, he celebrated a class victory and enjoyed the unique atmosphere on the podium.

“The finale in London closes the loop for our team, which started more than one year ago with the first tests at Donington,” says Team Boss Hans-Jürgen Abt. “Now we want to go one better and win the title with Lucas. Although he’s quite a few points behind, we believe in ourselves and our strengths. We are the outsiders in the title battle, but we want to use our chance.”

This is the FIA Formula E

Formula E is run with fully electric vehicles that reach speeds of up to 230 km/h, and accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds. Power output: in practice and qualifying 200 kW (270 hp), in the race 150 kW (202.5 hp) plus 30 kW FanBoost. During the near one-hour race there is one pit stop at which the car is changed. ABT is the only German team in the international field featuring outfits from the USA, India, China and Europe. The ex-Formula One stars Alain Prost and Jarno Trulli, as well as adventurer Richard Branson and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, enter teams of their own. More than ten drivers have Formula 1 experience. Formula E races are not held on permanent race tracks but on street circuits. After races in Beijing (China), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Miami (USA), Long Beach (USA), Monaco, Berlin (Germany) and Moscow (Russia) the next stop is in London (Great Britain). The points scoring system is identical to Formula 1 (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1), but with points for pole position (3) and the fastest race lap (2).

The season so far: from Beijing to London

By winning the season opener in Beijing (China, 13 September), Lucas di Grassi and ABT Sportsline wrote a small piece of motorsport history. The spectators at the first ePrix enjoyed a thrilling race that was only decided at the last corner. With a strategic masterstroke and two spectacular recovery drives, ABT Sportsline took the lead of the teams’ standings in round two in Putrajaya (Malaysia, 22 November). Lucas di Grassi defended the top spot in the drivers’ standings with a second place. Daniel Abt scored another point after finishing tenth. At the round held on the coast of Punta del Este (Uruguay, 13 December), a race packed with overtaking maneuvers, several safety car periods and an action-packed final sprint, Lucas di Grassi was in the right place at the right time yet again and scored valuable points for third place behind Sébastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jr. Following three podium finishes in the first three races, ABT Sportsline had to settle for a no-score in Buenos Aires (Argentina, 10 January). Lucas di Grassi retired from the race lead with a defect. Daniel Abt was heading for a podium finish when he was also forced to park his race car after a risky overtaking maneuver. Daniel Abt celebrated the team’s return to the podium with third place when Formula E debuted in Miami (USA, 14 March). The German even led the race for many laps, but was forced to manage his battery in the dying laps and fight a futile rearguard action with inferior machinery. In Long Beach (USA, 4 April) it was the turn of Lucas di Grassi to celebrate on the podium again. His third place also saw him retake the overall lead. Before, Daniel Abt had grabbed the headlines with a first pole position for a German in Formula E. At the championship’s European premiere in Monaco (9 May), Lucas di Grassi increased his lead to four points with a second place. Daniel Abt went away empty handed after crashing in the first corner. From the team’s perspective, the home round in Berlin (23 May) took a strange course. Lucas di Grassi initially clinched a commanding victory and was taken out of the classification due to irregularities on parts of the front wing a few hours following the finish. As a result, the home race became one without points. The comeback followed only two weeks later: after finishing second and fifth respectively in Moscow (6 June), Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt scored more points for the team than ever before during the inaugural season. As a result, di Grassi and ABT Sportsline both travel to the season finale in London in second place.

FanBoost: how the fans boost their stars

It is a unique feature in international motorsport: fans use an online poll to give their favorite drivers in Formula E a power boost. The three most successful drivers receive a five-second 30 kW power boost – in both cars. “The FanBoost can be an important advantage on the narrow street circuits, and may even decide victory,” says Lucas di Grassi. Fans can vote up to the day of the race on:

Top 6 Drivers

  1. Nelson Piquet Jr. (NEXTEV TCR) 128 points
  2. Lucas di Grassi (ABT Sportsline) 111 points
  3. Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) 105 points
  4. Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) 82 points
  5. Jérôme D’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) 77 points
  6. . Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) 68 points

Top 6 Teams

  1. e.dams-Renault 187 points
  2. ABT Sportsline 143 points
  3. NEXTEV TCR 132 points
  4. Dragon Racing 116 points
  5. Andretti 104 points
  6. Virgin Racing 98 points

The team’s partners

ABT Head of Marketing Harry Unflath managed to attract a circle of renowned supporters for the Formula E program. They tackle the new motorsport adventure together with the team. The Schaeffler Group is the exclusive technology partner and advertises with its logos on both cars. Deutsche Post (Daniel Abt) and DHL eCommerce (Lucas di Grassi) are visible with different liveries on both cars. Telefunken and Würth Elektronik committed to Formula E and ABT at an early stage. VfL Wolfsburg, the German Bundesliga Champions in the 2008/2009 season, uses the partnership to increase international awareness of the club. Last but not least, Warsteiner not only puts its logo on the cars but also, to everyone’s great pleasure, brings along German beer to the international FIA Formula E paddock. Audi supports the ABT program by releasing its factory driver Lucas di Grassi. All team members wear Oris wristwatches and TITAN-flex brand sunglasses.

The FIA Formula E online and in social media

Twitter: @FIAformulaE, @abt_formula_e, @Daniel_Abt, @LucasdiGrassi
Facebook: fiaformulae, abtmotorsport, abtdaniel, lucasdigrassiofficial
Instagram: fiaformulae, abt_fe, abt_sportsline, daniel_abt, lucasdigrassi
YouTube: FIAFormulaE, ABTSportslineTV, AbtDaniel

The schedule in Berlin

08:15–09:00 Free practice 1
10:30–11:00 Free practice 2
12:00–12:55 Qualifying (4 groups)
13:50–14:30 Autograph session (eVillage)
14:40–14:55 Parade
15:50 FanBoost winner announcement
16:00 Race
17:10–17:25 Press conference (Media Center)