Monday, January 5, 2015

Formula E: ABT starts 2015 motorsport year in Argentina

ABT Sportsline Press Release

Happy New Year: Next Saturday (10 January) will see ABT Sportsline starting the 2015 motorsport year with Formula E.

 The racing series for fully electric single-seater racing cars will be holding its fourth round of the season in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Lucas di Grassi, who races for the only German team, will be travelling to South America as the leader of the standings and, together with Daniel Abt, is aiming to set the first highlight in 2015.

Having clinched podium positions in each of the first three races, the outfit from Bavaria managed a dream start on entering the new era of motorsport. The next challenge is now awaiting the leader of the standings Lucas di Grassi and his German team-mate Daniel Abt in the streets of Buenos Aires. The temporary city street circuit is 2.440 kilometres long and situated in the middle of the city’s Puerto Madero district. The area along the Río de la Plata riverbank is the latest urban renewal project in Argentina’s capital city and, following the beach of Uruguay, offers the next fascinating setting for the FIA Formula E Championship.

From a sporting perspective, the circuit again features a mix of fast sections and extremely slow hairpin turns. The fastest corner is driven at 175 km/h while the cars reach a top speed of more than 200 km/h at the end of the start-finish straight. About 70 per cent of the track is driven flat-out. In the simulator the two ABT drivers set lap times of about 1m 08.000s. Following two practice sessions and qualifying the field will be covering 35 laps in the race on Saturday afternoon.

The current state of the Championship promises suspense galore. Although Lucas di Grassi, with a victory, a second place and a third place to his credit, has achieved an 18-point advantage over Sébastien Buemi and Sam Bird, this is only a snapshot, considering the fact that 25 points are awarded for a victory. The gap in the teams’ classification is even smaller, as the factory-backed e.dams-Renault team is leading the standings with a mere two-point advantage over ABT Sportsline.

The race in Argentina marks the second visit to South America before Formula E, in March and April, will be holding two rounds in the USA. At the beginning of May the electric racing cars will be travelling to Europe for the season’s final sprint in Monaco, Berlin and London.

Drivers and team director – that’s what they say

Hans-Jürgen Abt: “We’ve never started a motorsport season as early as with Formula E – I like that because it gives us the opportunity to begin the year with a highlight. Three trophies in three races are a nice string of success that we’d obviously like to continue. But we can also tell how close the competition has become at the top following the first third of the season. The fans can be particularly pleased about this as they can expect to experience a spectacular and thrilling Formula E year.”

Daniel Abt (D, 22, #66): “It’s definitely a small dream for any racer to start the year with a race in the heart of Buenos Aires. I recharged my batteries during the holiday season and look forward to our next round in South America. I feel very comfortable in Formula E and although my speed was good on the first three weekends I also suffered a lot of misfortune. But that’s history: at the beginning of 2015 everything’s been reset to zero and a new, positive roll can start – preferably next Saturday in Argentina.”

Lucas di Grassi (BR, 30, #11): “Three races, three times on podium – things have been going superbly so far. But we can’t afford to rest on these laurels: the test day following the race in Uruguay has provided the other teams with important information. That’s why the competition in Argentina will even be fiercer. But we’re perfectly prepared, have analysed all the data after the last race and familiarised ourselves with the circuit in the simulator. Buenos Aires is a fast track with a few tricky corners. The start-finish straight is extremely long and I like the fast part with the subsequent long turn 3. In the hairpin there’s plenty of room for overtaking manoeuvres but the slow turns 4 and 7 probably offer opportunities for overtaking as well.”

Photo credit: ABT Sportsline