Formula E: ABT Sportsline heads for Hollywood

From the East Coast to the West Coast: Following the round in Miami a little more than two weeks ago Formula E will be visiting California this Saturday (4 April). Round six in Long Beach marks the beginning of the second half of the season of the series for electrically powered formula cars. Right in the midst of the battle for points and trophies: Daniel Abt, Lucas di Grassi and ABT Sportsline.

Daniel Abt in particular is travelling to Long Beach with plenty of tailwind. Following several strong performances the youngster finally rewarded himself in the most recent race with a third place, which also made him the first German in Formula E history to take a podium position. His team-mate Lucas di Grassi, who had previously clinched three trophies, scored important points as well and, with a narrow gap of seven points, is ranking in second place of the overall standings.

The Long Beach ePrix will be held in a stunning setting. The 2.131-kilometre circuit is situated directly on the Pacific, some 30 kilometres from downtown Los Angeles. Seven corners, including a tight hairpin turn, have to be mastered. Formula E cars reach a top speed of a little more than 200 km/h and the ABT drivers achieved lap times of just under a minute in the simulator. Parts of the track correspond to the legendary circuit that has previously been the venue of ChampCar, IndyCar and – between 1976 and 1983 – even Formula One races. Long Beach is regarded as the most famous city street circuit in North America.

The aim for the race on the outskirts of Los Angeles is clear: With a strong team performance ABT Sportsline is setting its sights on the top of the standings – as the only German outfit is trailing the French Renault works team within striking distance in second place. Viewers in Germany won’t miss out on any of the action as Sky will be broadcasting the race live during the night from Saturday to Sunday, starting at 00.45 (CEST). Staying awake is worth it, as two curious aspects have shown: no pole sitter has ever won the race this season and never has the driver who was leading the race three laps before the end finished as the winner. This can only be found in Formula E.

After six visits to Asia, as well as to North and South America, Formula E, following the race in Long Beach, will finally arrive in Europe. On 9 May the drivers will be competing in the streets of Monaco before ABT Sportsline’s home round will be held in Berlin on 23 May.

Team director and drivers - that's what they say

Hans-Jürgen Abt: “At the race in California we’re going to start the second half of the season. Our assessment is absolutely positive: Formula E has acquired an excellent reputation far beyond the motorsport scene with superbly organised events, thrilling races and many innovative activities within just a few months. We can only congratulate the officials on this. We’re delighted to be part of this family with our team and our two drivers. And obviously we’re a bit proud of being in contention at the very front in all the classifications. In terms of the location Long Beach might even be able to top the race in Miami and we’re determined to up the ante as well: more points, more trophies – that is clearly our aim.”

Daniel Abt (D, 22, #66): “Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills – all these names, for me as a fan of the US, obviously have a great ring to them. But, be that as it may, we unfortunately won’t have a lot of time for sightseeing because we’re travelling to Long Beach with big aims. I’m hoping that on taking a podium place in Miami I finally broke my duck and that more good results are now going to follow. The preparation in the simulator was important and on Friday and Saturday we’re going to concentrate on working through our programme as well. Everybody in the team is fired up for the next trophy!”

Lucas di Grassi (BR, 30, #11): “The race in Miami again showed how tight the competition is in Formula E – but that’s exactly what makes this series so fascinating. Due to the temperature issues on the battery of my car I only scored two points but I’m optimistic that we’re going to strike back in California. Our team is perfectly practised, all of the wheels are engaged and we enjoy working together. Long Beach has a great name in motorsport. The fans can look forward to a thrilling race in a fascinating place.”

This is the FIA Formula E Championship

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 a little 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 of FanBoost. During the race that lasts about an hour there is one pit stop at which the car is changed. ABT is the only German team in the international field with 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, are entering teams of their own. More than ten drivers have experience in Formula One. Formula E races are not held on permanent race tracks but on city street circuits. After the inaugural event and visits to Malaysia, Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Miami (USA) the series is now travelling to Long Beach (USA), Monaco, Berlin (Germany), Moscow (Russia) and to London (Great Britain). The points system is analogous to Formula One (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1) with additional points being awarded for the pole position (3) and the fastest race lap (2).

FanBoost: This is how the fans give their stars more power

It is a unique feature in international motorsport: In Formula E the fans can give their favourite drivers a power boost by an online fan poll. The three most successful drivers will receive a five-second 30 kW power boost – in each of the two cars. “The FanBoost can be an important advantage on the narrow city 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. Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) 67 points
  2. Lucas di Grassi (ABT Sportsline) 60 points
  3. Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) 52 points
  4. Nelson Piquet jr. (China Racing) 49 points
  5. Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) 43 points
  6. António Félix da Costa (Amlin Aguri) 37 points

Top 6 Teams

  1. e.dams-Renault 110 points
  2. ABT Sportsline 79 points
  3. Virgin Racing 78 points
  4. Andretti 62 points
  5. Dragon Racing 56 points
  6. China Racing 49 points

These are the partners of the team

ABT Head of Marketing Harry Unflath managed to gain a circle of renowned supporters for the Formula E commitment who are tackling the new motorsport adventure together with the team. The Schaeffler Group is the exclusive Technology Partner and featured with its logos on both cars. Deutsche Post (Daniel Abt) and DHL eCommerce (Lucas di Grassi) are present on both cars with various types of graphics. Telefunken and Würth Elektronik had made a commitment to ABT and Formula E at an early stage. VfL Wolfsburg, the German Football Champion of the 2008/2009 season, is featured on a stage in front of an international audience through the partnership. And, last but not least, Warsteiner not only puts its logo on the cars but, to everyone’s great pleasure, is bringing German beer to the international FIA Formula E paddock. Audi supports the ABT commitment by releasing its factory driver Lucas di Grassi. All team members are wearing Oris wrist watches.

The FIA Formula E Championship online and in social media

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

The schedule in Long Beach (local time, CEST –9 hours)

08:15–08:40 Free practice 1
09:25–09:50 Free practice 2
10:35–11:00 Free practice 3
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)