- Team AudiSport puts in most laps of all teams
- Positive assessments by drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi
- Getting set for next season of quiet auto competition
VALENCIA, Spain – The new Audi e-tron FE04 has left a strong impression at the official pre-season testing of the Formula E electric racing series at Valencia (Spain). Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler completed the most kilometres of all 10 electric racing teams.
The lap times of the first all-electric Audi race car were promising, too, Audi said.
New Audi factory driver Daniel Abt (Germany) and title defender Lucas di Grassi (Brazil) reeled off an extensive test programme with the four race cars of Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in high summer temperatures of up to 30C in the shade.
The programme, however, focused on race simulations and optimisation of the energy management of the new motor-generator unit (MGU) which now only has one forward gear.
Despite of the heat, the four Audi e-tron FE04 rcars an with complete reliability on all three days, enabling Abt and di Grassi to reel off 474 laps on the three-kilometre Circuit Ricardo Tomo near Valencia, which equates to 1466km and the same as the race distance of a whole Formula E season.
SECOND CHICANE ON START
The two Audi drivers were regularly part of the top group, although the absolute best times were of only limited significance: testing was only permitted with the full qualifying power of 200kW twice per day and per car.
In addition, the track configuration was modified by a second chicane installed on the start-finish straight.
Team principal Allan McNish, assessing the tests, told Carman’s Corner in a media communication: “Daniel and Lucas felt comfortable in the car right from the start and confirmed to me that we’ve done good development work and made a big step forward with the new powert rain.
MORE OPTIMISATION NEEDED
“Even though we’re only going to see where we really stand at the season opener in Hong Kong and still have a lot of work to do until then we can be very happy with the test in Valencia.
“The Audi e-tron FE04 is reliable and fast. Now we need to continue to optimise energy management and the software on the test bench and in the simulator.”
Reigning Formula E champion di Grassi agreed: “It’s been a positive test. I believe our new car is very competitive – Audi, ABT and Schaeffler have done a good job. We made optimal use of the three test days to put ourselves in a good position for the season opener in Hong Kong.
“The top times were very close. I’m expecting a thrilling season.”
Daniel Abt added: “The Valencia test went smoothly. There was a lot to learn with the new software and other things but we made good progress, especially on the last day. The car is running superbly – and is fast. I can hardly wait to tackle my first two races as an Audi factory driver in Hong Kong.”
Testing is prohibited for Formula E from now on until the season opens in Hong Kong over December 2/3 . The four Audi e-tron FE04 cars will be completely dismantled and reassembled at the team’s base in Kempten.
In mid-November they will be flown from England to Hong Kong. (Test results beneath image.)
Test results at Valencia, October 2-5 2017
Track version 1 (3.090km, one chicane, Monday)
Lucas di Grassi (Audi e-tron FE04 #1) 1min18.579 – 71 laps
Daniel Abt (Audi e-tron FE04 #66) 1min18.697 – 85 laps
Track version 2 (3.094km, two chicanes, Tuesday and Thursday)
Daniel Abt (Audi e-tron FE04 #66) 1min21.946 – 160 laps
Lucas di Grassi (Audi e-tron FE04 #1) 1min22.215 – 158 laps