Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Formula E: Welcome to Miami: ABT on Formula E grid in Florida

ABT Sportsline Press Release

The days of the long breaks are over. Round five in Miami (USA) marks the beginning of the ‘hot stage’ of the FIA Formula E Championship season.

The days of the long breaks are over. Round five in Miami (USA) marks the beginning of the ‘hot stage’ of the FIA Formula E Championship season on Saturday (14 March). Seven races are yet to be held by the end of June and then the first champion of the series for fully electric single-seater racing cars will have been determined. One of the favourites: the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi from Team ABT Sportsline, who will be competing in Florida as the leader of the standings.

The circuit surrounds the stadium of the Miami Heat, the pit lane is located directly on Biscayne Bay and the famous Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is just 15 minutes away – could there be a more fascinating setting for a car race? A double premiere: the visit to Florida marks the first-ever race in North America for Formula E and ABT Sportsline. Sightseeing, however, is only of marginal interest to the squad headed up by Hans-Jürgen Abt, as the only German team in the field is aiming to return to the fast track.

Three races, three trophies – ABT Sportsline had made an awesome start to the new era of motorsport. Lucas di Grassi continues to lead the drivers’ standings although he was forced to retire in the round in Argentina with a technical defect. Just like his team-mate Daniel Abt the Brazilian has been preparing for the race in Miami in the simulator. The conclusion drawn by the duo: an interesting track with a very bumpy surface and several good overtaking opportunities. This promises a thrilling race day.

As always, the drivers in Formula E will be practising, qualifying and racing on Saturday within the space of a few hours. With a distance of 2.169 kilometres, the circuit in Florida is the shortest one on the calendar so far and has only eight corners in total. In the simulator Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi achieved lap times of a little less than 1m 06s in qualifying mode. The Miami ePrix starts at 16.00 local time and covers 39 laps.

Team director and drivers – that’s what they say

Hans-Jürgen Abt: “The whole squad is tremendously looking forward to the race in Miami. A two-month break is simply cruel for racers like us. Fortunately, that’s over now. From now on we’ll be driving seven races in 15 weeks – that’s the way we like it. Following three consecutive podium places, the most recent race in Argentina that we scored no points in was painful. But it also motivated all of us to put in an even more concentrated and intense effort in order to be successful. We’ve set ourselves ambitious aims for the two races in the USA.”

Daniel Abt (D, 22, #66): “I’m a huge fan of the USA and for that reason alone the race in Miami will be an absolute highlight for me. Plus, it’s perfect timing for me to finally clinch a top racing result. Obviously, I’d like to take the podium position that had already been within reach for me in Buenos Aires in the next race. The circuit in Miami may look pretty easy at first glance but with several 90-degree turns it’s an exciting challenge.”

Lucas di Grassi (BR, 30, #11): “It’s great that we’re finally hitting the track again. There’s nothing worse for a racer than having to wait for revenge after suffering a frustrating retirement like the one in Buenos Aires. Miami is a fascinating city and perfect venue for Formula E. The circuit offers a few good overtaking opportunities and is located in a fantastic setting. It’ll be a highlight for fans, teams and drivers.”

Photo credit: ABT Sportsline