Formula E action heats up this weekend

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Jan 24, 2019

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Electric motorsport heats up this weekend as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to South America. The fully electric racing series will hold the third of round of the 2019 championship in Santiago de Chile.

Early reports from South America show that Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) both intend on standing on the podium this weekend.

The race will be run at Parque O’Higgins; covering an area of 750 000 square metres, it is the second largest park in the Chilean capital.

A 2.3km street track in the centre of it, with long straights, sharp hairpin bends and chicanes that loop around the Movistar Arena await drivers.

“The track layout looks exciting, but we’ll only know exactly what awaits us at the circuit once we get there,” says Team Principal Allan McNish. “However, we already know one thing: it’ll be a completely different race than the two previous rounds this season. Firstly, we’re going to have much higher temperatures to contend with and secondly, it’s the first real city street circuit on the calendar with all the typical characteristics of a street track.”

The new location and unknown circuit have no bearing on the factory team’s goal. “We know the potential of our Audi e-tron FE05, our team and our drivers - now we need to put all of it together into a package that will get us onto the podium,” McNish says. “Races in South America are always very special anyway because the fans are enthusiastic and make for a great atmosphere.”

This also gives Audi driver Lucas di Grassi an additional boost of motivation. “Santiago de Chile is only a four-hour flight away from my hometown, São Paulo, so the race is kind of a round on home soil for me,” says the Brazilian. “After a difficult opener in Riyadh, we most recently took a step forward in Marrakesh. With a little more fortune, a podium finish would have been possible there. Now we’re going to attack in Santiago. The circuit is new for everyone, so we need to work all the harder and be fully focused right off the bat.”

Like his teammate, Daniel Abt also scored points in the first races of this season, but missed the podium. “Our whole team is hungry for success and eager to take a trophy home again as soon as possible,” says the German. “Everyone is working hard for this. We’ve come to understand the car better and are optimising our processes. I’m confident that we’re going to take the next step toward the front of the field in Santiago.”

This season, four cars using technology from Audi and Schaeffler are on the Formula E grid.

In addition to the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler factory team, the Envision Virgin Racing team with Sam Bird and Robin Frijns races with the Audi e-tron FE05. Both drivers of the British racing team most recently finished on podium in Marrakesh. The race in Santiago de Chile will start at 4PM local time.

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