Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler scores first podium of the season in the hottest Formula E race in history

Daniel Abt scores third place while the Audi e-tron FE05 cars flourished under record hitting high temperatures in the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Santiago E-Prix went down as the hottest race in Formula E history with temperatures soaring up to 37°C at the Parque O’ Higgins street circuit in Santiago, Chile.

But the gruelling conditions seemed to favour the Audi e-tron FE05 cars which proved to be ahead of the pack under extreme conditions where battery and tyre management played an even more crucial role than usual.

Audi’s customer team, Envision Virgin’s Sam Bird took victory ahead of Mahindra Racing’s rookie Pascal Wehrlein, while Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Daniel Abt scored third place, earning the team its first podium win of the season.

Abt showed good consistency at the tight and twisty street circuit. Starting from third place on the grid, he managed to maintain his position by finishing third and earned extra points for clocking in the fastest race lap.

“That was an incredibly tough race,” says Abt. “It was extremely hot out there. But sometimes you just have to stay cool, and that’s what we did today. This first podium of the season is really important for our team. Our squad works hard and more than deserves this result. We've underlined that we’re making progress and are on the right track and we’ll continue to fight.”

Meanwhile, his teammate Lucas di Grassi initially secured pole position in what he described was his best lap ever in Formula E. The Brazilian clocked in half a second quicker than the rest of the pack, but a minor brake infringement during his in-lap while out on the group qualifying run, forced him to start from the back of the grid. He then fought his way from 22nd place up to ninth, but a post-race time penalty unfortunately dropped his position to twelfth place.

Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler says, “I’m very proud of Daniel, after a strong qualifying performance under difficult conditions, he drove a clean race from start to finish and brought home the first podium result of the season for our team. A superb job!”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass says, “After a hot, action-packed and incredible Formula E race, it turned out to be an excellent result for Audi. It’s a pity that Lucas was stripped of his pole position due to a minor infraction. He would certainly have been fighting for victory today. We’re taking many positive insights from this weekend to the next round in Mexico.”

The fourth round of the all-electric championship will see the teams jetting off to Mexico’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit on 16th February.

Our Technology Partnership

Würth Elektronik has been the trusted technology partner of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team since Formula E’s inaugural season. The all-electric championship provides a suitable platform to further develop innovative sustainable technology to drive the eMobility market.

In close collaboration with the ABT Sportsline engineers, we have developed lightweight battery management solutions and innovative component solutions to enhance power management, a pivotal aspect for success within the all-electric championship.

As we have witnessed from the Santiago E-Prix, racing under extreme conditions at challenging circuits allow us to further develop our components by using the race track as our testing field. It also enables us to expand our product and technology range, as well as adjusting to the demands and needs within the eMobility market.

As an innovation driver in the eMobility market, we pride ourselves in delivering top performance by using Green Efficiency solutions. Our technology partnership is focused on building a wide network of sustainable energy efficiency solutions through working closely with developers of eMobility and the automotive industry for greener solutions of tomorrow.