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A Season of Ups and Downs for Audi

After winning the Teams’ Championship in the 2017-18 season, and taking drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt to second and fifth in the Drivers’ Standings respectively, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler had high hopes of a similarly strong season this time around.

They struggled to string everything together, however, managing two wins and three other podium finishes as they lost the Teams’ crown to DS Techeetah by a margin of 19 points.

It was still a good season for Audi, with Lucas di Grassi third and Daniel Abt seventh in the drivers’ standings, but by their own lofty standards it wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.

Key stats

Wins 2

Poles 0

Fastest laps (top 10 only) 4

Teams’ Championship position 2nd (203 points)

Drivers’ Championship position Lucas di Grassi – 3rd (108 points); Daniel Abt 7th (95 points)

The first two rounds of the season in Saudi Arabia and Morocco were pretty poor for the German outfit, before things got a little better in Chile as Daniel Abt reached the podium with a third place.

Lucas di Grassi then took his first win of the season in Mexico City, before following that up with second in Hong Kong, with team-mate Abt in fourth. Next up in Sanya, it was only Abt who was able to score points with a fifth place.

Rome was a disappointing weekend for the team as di Grassi was the only one able to score points with a seventh place, but things got better in Paris as Abt led an Audi 3-4 ahead of his team-mate.

After the team’s only point-less weekend of the campaign in Monaco, they bounced back at their home race in Berlin with their best points scoring day of the season, taking 34 points as di Grassi won with Abt in sixth.

However neither driver was able to reach the podium in the last three rounds of the season, as they scored a total of 40 points over Bern and the two New York races –  which wasn’t enough to hold onto the teams’ crown ahead of DS Techeetah.


#11 Lucas di Grassi

After losing his drivers’ crown to Jean-Eric Vergne in the 2017-18 season, di Grassi was looking to reclaim it this time around.

But like many drivers in this season’s championship, his campaign never quite got going and he was not able to put together a consistent run of results.

A few minor points finishes in Saudi Arabia and Morocco were followed up by a non-score in Chile, before a dramatic win in Mexico City as di Grassi passed Pascal Wehrlein for victory just metres from the finishing line.

After following that up with a second place in Hong Kong that put him right into title contention, the Brazilian faltered over the next few rounds as he was only able to grab seventh in Rome and fourth in Paris, sandwiched between two non-scores in Sanya and Monaco.

He was back to his belligerent best in Berlin as he took a crucial victory to keep himself in the title picture, but could only manage ninth in Bern meaning he came into New York second in points behind Vergne.

And despite a crazy race on Saturday in New York leaving the door mathematically open for di Grassi to take his second Drivers’ crown, he was unable to make the desired progress in the Sunday race, eventually colliding with Mitch Evans and retiring from the race.

Despite coming into the last weekend in second place, di Grassi had to concede this position to long-time rival Sebastien Buemi, with the Brazilian finishing the season in third place. Nonetheless, di Grassi is the only driver in Formula E history to finish in the top three in every single season, a testament to his skill behind the wheel.


#66 Daniel Abt

The German driver had enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the 2017-18 season, winning two races and finishing fifth in the championship.

He looked to build on that momentum this time around, but wasn’t quite able to hit the heights of last season as he was unable to win a race.

He was, however, one of the most consistent drivers in the field, as he finished in the points in 11 of the 13 races – only missing out on points in Rome and Monaco.

After eighth in Saudi Arabia and tenth in Morocco, he took his first podium of the season in Chile, which looked like it would potentially kickstart a title charge for the German driver.

He then followed that up with tenth in Mexico, fourth in Hong Kong and fifth in Sanya; continuing to rack up points for his Audi squad.

Between his two non-scores in Rome and Monaco, he scored his second – and ultimately last – podium of the season with an excellent third in Paris.

Abt was once again a model of consistency in the final four races of the season, taking three sixth places and a fifth to close out the season seventh in the Drivers’ standings.

Having been retained by Audi next season, he will hope to make another step forward and help the German squad regain the coveted Teams’ crown – while also having his eyes firmly set on getting closer to the Drivers’ title too.

Laurence Thorn

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