Audi Press Release
The most important race event of the year started with technical scrutineering on Sunday. How well did Audi prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
We tested our new racecars for eight hours during the test day a week ago. The unsettled weather conditions meant that the results were less representative for all the teams. However, as at the first two races in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, we saw just how well the team is prepared from the human aspect, technically and organizationally.
The latest generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro is even more economical and, at the same time, quicker than its very efficient predecessor. What impression do you have of the racecar?
The new Audi is agile and comfortable to drive. This is of course worth its weight in gold during an endurance race. The development steps made each year are always amazing for us racing drivers. It’s impressive to see how the Audi engineers work. We have less fuel available, but as compensation our hybrid system recuperates twice as much energy than before and we are several seconds faster. Be it chassis, engine or aerodynamics – the R18 e-tron quattro feels better in every area than its predecessor.
Le Mans is your home race as well. Although you live in the south of France, you come from Alençon 60 kilometers north of Le Mans. Do you still have any connections with this region?
Yes of course, I spent the last few days here. I was invited to a wedding and also visited my parents who live here. It’s a good feeling to come back to your roots regularly. And of course, I’m looking forward to the race week, because this race is incomparable.
You’ve won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times already with your team mates André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler. How do you feel about this year?
With so many illustrious opponents, the competition is the hardest it has been for some time now. I think the race is completely open. As always, it’s all about getting through quickly and reliably and without making any mistakes. I believe that we’ll only really get an idea about who can win at the earliest at sunrise on Sunday. I’ve trained thoroughly for months and come well rested to the race. The week can begin.
Photo credit:Audi Media