ABT Sportsline Press Release
Finally, it’s time to race again: On 22 November the FIA Formula E Championship will hold its second race of the season in Putrajaya. Following his triumph in the inaugural event ABT driver Lucas di Grassi is travelling to Malaysia as the leader of the standings. On the 2.5-kilometre city street circuit on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur the only German team with the Brazilian and Daniel Abt is set on upping the ante.
It’s a true eye-catcher. The massive winner’s trophy awaiting visitors at the entrance to the Motorsport Centre of ABT Sportsline in Kempten weighs a little more than 30 kilos – a deserved reward for the victory in the Formula E opening race in Beijing two months ago. Next weekend the next trophies will be awarded, as the teams and drivers are meeting for the second of a total of nine events in Malaysia that kicks off a string of three races within the space of seven weeks. The FIA Formula E Championship is finally picking up momentum.
Putrajaya, about a half hour’s drive south of Kuala Lumpur, is the venue of round two of the series for fully electric single-seater racing cars. With a length of 2,560 kilometres the temporary city street circuit is clearly shorter than the one most recently was in Beijing and runs past a few distinctive landmarks. One of the sights located close to the track is the prime minister’s official residence, Putrajaya’s most famous building. The track was designed by the British architect Simon Gibbons, who also created the concept for some of the sports facilities of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi are travelling to Malaysia highly motivated. The German youngster reluctantly passed up the opportunity of running in the finale of the GP2 Series in which he competed for his second season this year. Lucas di Grassi is running in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) as an Audi factory driver. In the legendary 24-hour race at Le Mans he took second place this year.
To avoid the dreaded monsoon rain in the afternoon the organisers have tightened the schedule. For the drivers, the day will start early, at 7.45 a.m., with the first practice session, followed by qualifying. The race will start at 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. CET) and cover 31 laps.
Drivers and team director – that’s what they say
Hans-Jürgen Abt: “Finally, Formula E is hitting the track again! We enjoyed our victory in the inaugural event but then concentrated on the next races. The most important lesson we learned from Beijing is that Formula E with its compact schedule and superb drivers doesn’t forgive even the smallest mistake. That’s why we’ve reviewed all the processes in our team again, analysed all the data and worked on many details – now we’re all fired up about racing again. We’re set on upping the ante in Putrajaya and clinching the next trophy.”
Daniel Abt (D, 21, #66): “Obviously, it wasn’t an easy decision not to run in the GP2 finale due to the overlap. But I want to keep it rolling in Formula E at all cost. Malaysia is a great country and the circuit in Putrajaya a thrilling track. The configuration features a lot of variety with slow and semi-fast combinations of turns. This promises a thrilling race because the field will remain close together. After the inaugural event in Beijing I’ve still got some unfinished business. I learned a lot in the opener and in Putrajaya would like to again battle for a podium position.”
Lucas di Grassi (BR, 30, #11): “Formula E is unpredictable. Everybody’s got the same material, the gaps are minimal and on a new track like Putrajaya the relative strengths can pan out in a totally different way again. Our aim remains the same before each race: We’re set on winning. And if that shouldn’t be possible then we’d at least like to finish on the podium and take home valuable points. Our victory in Beijing is a fond memory – but no more than that. That’s why we’re preparing for Malaysia with the same concentration and are going to try and manage an impeccable weekend with the whole squad. Compared to Beijing, Putrajaya is shorter and at first glance seems to feature a few more demanding turns and sections. It’s going to be a great challenge that we’ve got to adjust to as quickly as possible.”
This is where fans can watch Formula E
In Germany, Sky has secured the exclusive rights. The broadcasts each include a half-hour preliminary report and a 15-minute post-race analysis. Sascha Roos and Sven Heidfeld will be the commentators. Sky will be airing the race in Putrajaya on 22 November starting at 7.00 a.m. live on Sky Sport HD 1. The highlights will subsequently be made available on the public media library for free viewing by all motorsport fans. On Sunday, 23 November, at 20:15 SPORT1 will be showing the highlights of the event on the ‘Motorsport kompakt’ programme presented by Schaeffler.
You can find more information on the ABT Formula E website
Photo credit: ABT Sportsline