|Début||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Key People||Hans-Jürgen Abt|
|Driver(s)||Lucas di Grassi (No.11)|
Daniel Abt (No.33)
|Car||Audi e-tron FE07|
|Website||Audi Sport ABT|
|Last Season||2nd (203 pt(s))|
|First Win||2014 Beijing ePrix|
|Entrant||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler|
|Lucas di Grassi||René Rast|
|9th (55 Pt(s))||– (0 Pt(s))|
ABT Sportsline, otherwise officially registered as Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, are an entrant in the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, fielding 2016/17 Driver's Champion Lucas di Grassi. Previously named as Audi Sport ABT, the German squad run as the factory team for Audi, which had itself worked in partnership with Schaeffler to build FE powertrains.
Historically, ABT Sportsline have finished as runners-up in two of the three previous Formula E Championships, while lead driver di Grassi has challenged for the title in each. This run came to an end in 2017/18, with ABT finally claiming their maiden FE Teams' title, edging out Techeetah on the final day by two points.
The 2018/19 season saw ABT Sportsline again challenge for the title, although two wins for lead driver di Grassi was not enough, resulting in them being beaten by DS Techeetah. di Grassi would again lead their challenge alongside Abt for the 2019/20 season, although a first winless season saw ABT slip to sixth in the Championship.
Ahead of the 2020/21 campaign it was announced that Audi would withdraw from FE, resulting in ABT Sportsline trying and failing to reclaim their entry in the series after Audi officially purchased it in 2017. As a result the seventh FE season was set to be ABT's last in the series, with di Grassi and René Rast listed as their drivers.
Audi Sport ABT are one of a number of teams that have resulted from the association with ABT Sportline and Audi since the late 1990s. The pair have a significant and successful record in motorsport, being multiple DTM champions and Formula Three winners. It is thought that the involvement of the team with Formula E will see Audi become involved in the series after 2015.
Formula E History
Audi Sport ABT were the first German team to be announced as entrants in the championship, with two drivers who have a long association with the team, Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt. Their season started brightly, as di Grassi swept home to take victory in the 2014 Beijing ePrix, writing himself and Audi Sport ABT into the history books as the first winners of an ePrix. The team continued to have a strong season, with di Grassi leading the championship until the 2015 Miami ePrix.
Abt's season failed to improve after the halfway mark, with the German struggling to support his team mate's title challenge. Di Grassi looked to have won the 2015 Berlin ePrix, only to be excluded because of a 'repaired' front wing. He ultimately missed out on the title by eleven points, with Audi Sport ABT also dropping to third on the final day, having sat in second, behind e.dams-Renault, for the majority of the season.
Summoning Schaeffler: 2015/16
German technology giants Schaeffler were drafted into Audi Sport ABT when the homologation process for season two cars opened in February 2015. Schaeffler built their own powertrain for the new season, with the team renamed to incorporate the new partnership as Audi took a back step. The team retained di Grassi and Abt from season one, and then demonstrated the new powertrain had incredible pace as the Brazilian flattened the lap record at Donington Park during the 2015 Donington Test. Their inherent pace was demonstrated at the season opening round in Beijing, with di Grassi taking second place to pre-season favourite Buemi.
The team would collect their first win of the season at the 2015 Putrajaya ePrix, with di Grassi sweeping to victory by surviving the intense heat. From that point onwards it would be the Brazilian would be in the title hunt, taking two podiums at the following two rounds, before taking a second victory at the 2016 Mexico City ePrix. That was, until the officials deemed that one of di Grassi's cars was found to be underweight, a fact that saw the Brazilian disqualified, with ABT Schaeffler opting not to appeal.
The disqualification put di Grassi on the back foot, but the Brazilian would take two victories at the 2016 Long Beach ePrix and the 2016 Paris ePrix, the latter particularly satisfying as it came on major rivals Renault e.Dams' home turf. Unfortunately for ABT Schaeffler, the following round saw Buemi and e.Dams respond by taking victory at the 2016 Berlin ePrix, the home race for the German team. That victory also allowed Buemi to get to within a point of di Grassi at the top of the standings, despite second driver Abt's attempts to swap positions with the Brazilian late in the race.
Into the 2015/16 season finale in London and the first race saw Renault almost effectively secure the Teams' Championship, although di Grassi would extend his title lead, having battled up from the mid-pack. Into the season ending race and pole for Buemi left him and di Grassi level on points, with the Brazilian ahead by virtue of an extra third place finish, but he would start the 2016 London ePrix II directly behind his title rival. As it turned out, the Championship looked to have been decided as early as turn three, when di Grassi misjudged the closing speed of Buemi and rammed into the back of him, sending both cars into the run off with heavy damage.
Yet, Buemi and di Grassi would both limp their damaged cars back to the pits to swap to their second cars, with the two suddenly in a duel to set fastest lap. The fight saw di Grassi do his best to prevent Buemi setting a fastest lap by simply blocking his attempts, although the ploy failed when e.Dams managed to get Buemi out behind teammate, and race leader, Nicolas Prost, allowing him to set a time almost half a second quicker than di Grassi. The Brazilian missed out in the finale once again, while teammate Abt ensured that the team would finish third with a place on the podium.
Developing Desires: 2016/17
ABT Schaeffler opted to retain di Grassi and Abt for the 2016/17 season, with the pair helping the team to prepare the new ABT Schaeffler FE02 ahead of the 2016 Donington Test. The team would be bolsted by news that Audi were looking to increase their involvement, with the German marque rumoured to be interested in taking over the team for the 2017/18 season, rather than simply providing support. As for the test, di Grassi and Abt both ended up in the top ten on overall pace, with the new car also proving to be a reliable runner.
ABT Sportsline's partner's Audi would throw their full weight at the FE Championship in 2017/18, with de Grassi and Abt handed four e-tron FE04s for the year. The new "e-tron" proved to be the class of the field, with Abt and di Grassi covering a huge amount of distance at the 2017 Valencia Test. Yet, the car also proved to be unreliable, with Abt only able to secure fifth after a mid-race issue at the season opener, while di Grassi opened his title defence in seventeenth.
Things looked better for the ABT squad at the second Hong Kong E-Prix, for Abt claimed victory as di Grassi finished fifteenth, only for Abt to get disqualified due to an admin error. A couple of miserable races would follow in Marrakech and Santiago, with three retirements and just a single point, for Abt, coming across the two races. Yet, the Abt team finally got their first victory of the season in the fifth race, with Abt finally getting a trouble free run to claim a dominant victory in Mexico City.
After that the ABT squad never looked back, with di Grassi finishing second in each of the next four races, dragging the team further up the field. This run would culminate in di Grassi finishing second to Abt in Berlin, with the German claiming pole, victory and fastest lap in a dominant display by the German squad. di Grassi followed that up with a victory in Zürich, before a second one-two, this time with di Grassi ahead of Abt, followed in the first New York City E-Prix.
ABT therefore headed into the final race of the season with a shot at taking the Teams' Championship, for Techeetah were just five points ahead heading into the final round. Ultimately a jump-start by Techeetah's second driver André Lotterer gifted Audi the title, for while the Chinese squad's Champion driver Jean-Éric Vergne swept to victory, di Grassi and Abt finished second and third. With Lotterer in ninth the final margin between the two teams settled at two points, with ABT becoming the first team to dethrone arch-FE-rivals Renault e.Dams in three years.
Dominance Continued?: 2018/19
ABT would keep their Championship winning formula the same for the 2018/19 season, with di Grassi and Abt partnered for the fifth straight season to debut the new Spark SRT05e. The duo performed well at the 2018 Valencia Test, before spending the majority of the season opening race in Ad Diriyah battling with pseudo-sister team Envision Virgin Racing for minor points. Indeed, the factory Audi squad would be overshadowed by their Virgin associates at the following round in Marrakech, with di Grassi and Abt again only able to claim minor points.
The following 2019 Santiago E-Prix saw Virgin claim victory, as di Grassi started at the back of the field having been thrown out of qualifying after grabbing pole. Abt would, however, battle to the team's first podium finish of the season by claiming third, while di Grassi could only get into twelfth believing he had been unjustly punished for new pit-in procedures. However, the team would enjoy a far stronger race in Mexico City, with di Grassi claiming a dramatic victory on the final corner of the final lap, passing Pascal Wehrlein after a race long battle for the win.
di Grassi would subsequently move into the lead of the Championship with a second place finish in the 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix, taking advantage of a late race collision between Sam Bird and André Lotterer, while Abt secured fourth. However, Audi ABT's form would vary over the following two rounds, with Abt and di Grassi only claiming fifth and seventh place finishes respectively. The former would, however, prove particularly strong at the Paris E-Prix, battling to third ahead of di Grassi as their fellow Audi factory driver Robin Frijns claimed victory for sister team Virgin.
After a pointless race weekend in Monte Carlo, where di Grassi was taken out while battling for points with Alexander Sims, the ABT Audi squad headed to Berlin for their home race. It would prove to be their strongest race of the season, with di Grassi claiming the lead early on, before claiming a dominant victory with fastest lap in front of a huge crowd of their fans. However, di Grassi's form would evaporate at the following round in Bern, with the Brazilian racer coming close to a reprimand for comments made to officials about the race restart.
Indeed, having qualified down the back of the field, di Grassi would use an escape road to avoid a road-blocking accident at the start, leaping up into eighth only to be relegated to the back of the field for the restart. Although he recovered to ninth, the Brazilian ace would arrive in New York City for the season finale a fair way off leader Jean-Éric Vergne. However, he would out-qualify his title rival for the opening race, and, with the assistance of teammate Abt, would battle his way to fifth as Vergne crashed out.
Unfortunately for both di Grassi and ABT Audi the final race of the season would be a disaster, as both of their title bids faltered late on. Indeed, having been stalked throughout the race by title rival Vergne, di Grassi's race and title hopes were ruined by a last-lap collision with Mitch Evans, allowing Vergne to claim the Drivers Championship, and DS Techeetah to secure their first Teams' Championship.
A Winless Campaign: 2019/20
Despite their narrow defeat in the 2018/19 season finale, ABT Audi would undergo very little change ahead of the 2019/20 season retaining drivers di Grassi and Abt for yet another season. However, Audi factory driver Nico Müller would leave his role as test/reserve driver to take a seat at GEOX DRAGON, calling into question the long-term future of the di Grassi/Abt partnership.
A Final Dance?: 2020/21
The 2020/21 season would open with news that Audi would leave FE at the end of the campaign, despite having built their first FE powertrain fully in-house for the season. ABT attempted to buy the entry back from Audi, whom had purchased it from ABT in 2017, although a deal between the two could not be reached before the deadline, meaning the entry reverted back to Formula E Holdings. Regardless, ABT would venture into the 2020/21 season as potential title contenders, with Rast given a full campaign of FE alongside di Grassi.
Formula E Record
The tables below show ABT Sportsline's full record in the FIA Formula E Championship.
Formula E Entries
The table below gives an overview of ABT Sportsline's entries in Formula E:
|ABT Sportsline's overall Formula E Record|
|Season||Official name||No.||Drivers||DC Pos.||DC Pts.||Car||TC Pos.||TC Pts.|
|2014/15||Audi Sport ABT||11||Lucas di Grassi||3rd||144||Spark-Renault SRT_01E||3rd||165|
|2015/16||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||11||Lucas di Grassi||2nd||153||ABT Schaeffler FE01||2nd||221|
|2016/17||ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport||11||Lucas di Grassi||1st||181||ABT Schaeffler FE02||2nd||248|
|2017/18||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1||Lucas di Grassi||2nd||144||Audi e-tron FE04||1st||264|
|2018/19||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||11||Lucas di Grassi||3rd||108||Audi e-tron FE05||2nd||203|
|2019/20||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||11||Lucas di Grassi||6th||77||Audi e-tron FE06||6th||114|
|2020/21||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||11||Lucas di Grassi||Audi e-tron FE07|
- * Abt also raced for the NIO 333 FE Team after being dropped by ABT Sportsline ahead of the 2020 Berlin E-Prix I.
Listed below are the full career results of ABT Sportsline:
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Videos and Images:
- 'Full Formula E team names revealed ahead of season opener', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/09/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/september/full-team-names-revealed-ahead-of-season-opener, (Accessed 10/09/2019)
- 'Teams: Audi Sport ABT', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/teams/audi-sport-abt.aspx, (Accessed 16/07/2015)
- 'Audi unveils e-tron FE04', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/09/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/september/audi-unveils-e-tron-fe04/, (Accessed 27/09/2017)
- 'Champion Vergne victorious as Audi scoops the teams' title in New York finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/champion-vergne-victorious-as-audi-scoops-the-teams-title-in-new-york-finale/, (Accessed 16/07/2018)
- 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
- Sam Smith, 'AUDI TO LEAVE FORMULA E AFTER 2021 FOR LE MANS AND DAKAR', the-race.com, (The Race, 30/11/2020), https://the-race.com/formula-e/audi-to-leave-formula-e-at-end-of-2021-season/, (Accessed 17/01/2021)
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- 'ABT Sportsline', wikipedia.org, (WikiMedia, 07/07/2015), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abt_Sportsline, (Accessed 16/07/2015)
- 'Lucas di Grassi snatches win after dramatic last corner crash', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/09/2014), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/september/lucas-di-grassi-snatches-win-after-dramatic-last-corner-crash.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'Di Grassi excluded from DHL Berlin ePrix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/05/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/may/di-grassi-excluded-from-dhl-berlin-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- 'Bird hails ‘unbelievable’ end to season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/06/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/june/bird-hails-unbelievable-end-to-season.aspx, (Accessed 28/06/2015)
- 'Eight manufacturers to enter Formula E next season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/02/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/february/eight-manufacturers-to-enter-fia-formula-e-from-second-season.aspx, (Accessed 30/04/2015)
- 'FIA announces 10 teams to register for season two', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/july/fia-announces-10-teams-to-register-for-season-two.aspx, (Accessed 02/07/2015)
- 'Buemi to the max in Beijing', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/10/2015),http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/october/buemi-wins-swusp-beijing-eprix.aspx, (Accessed 25/10/2015)
- 'Di Grassi keeps his cool to win in Putrajaya', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 07/11/2015), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/november/di-grassi-keeps-his-cool-to-win-in-putrajaya.aspx, (Accessed 22/11/2015)
- 'Di Grassi stripped of Mexico win', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/03/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/di-grassi-stripped-of-mexico-win.aspx, (Accessed 13/03/2016)
- 'Di Grassi triumphant in Paris', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/04/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/april/di-grassi-wins-visa-paris-eprix/, (Accessed 23/04/2016)
- 'Buemi win cuts di Grassi's lead to just one point', fiaformula.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/05/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/may/buemi-win-cuts-di-grassi-s-lead-to-just-one-point/, (Accessed 21/05/2016)
- 'BUEMI AND DI GRASSI CHARGE UP THE ORDER, BUT IT’S PROST WHO LEADS THE WAY', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/prost-wins-in-style-as-di-grassi-inches-closer-to-title/, (Accessed 03/07/2016)
- 'BUEMI WINS TITLE AFTER SPECTACULAR FINALE: VISA FASTEST LAP ENDS UP DECIDING THE 2015/16 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/buemi-wins-title-after-spectacular-finale/, (Accessed 04/07/2016)
- 'TEN TEAMS ENTERED FOR THE 2016-17 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ten-teams-entered-for-the-2016-17-fia-formula-e-championship/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
- 'AUDI TO INTENSIFY FORMULA E PROGRAMME: AUDI WORKING TOWARDS FULLY-FLEDGED FACTORY COMMITMENT FOR 2017/18 SEASON WITH ABT SCHAEFFLER', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/09/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/audi-to-intensify-formula-e-programme/, (Accessed 12/09/2016)
- 'Turvey finishes pre-season testing on top', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 05/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/turvey-finishes-pre-season-testing-on-top/, (Accessed 05/10/2017)
- 'Bird clinches victory in Hong Kong', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 02/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/bird-clinches-victory-in-hong-kong/, (Accessed 16/12/2017)
- Scott Mitchell, 'Abt stripped of maiden Formula E win', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/12/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/abt-stripped-maiden-fe-win-hong-kong-985435/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- 'Vergne steals the show in epic Santiago E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/02/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/february/vergne-steals-the-show-in-epic-santiago-e-prix/, (Accessed 03/02/2018)
- 'Abt finally clinches first victory in Mexico City', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/03/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/march/abt-finally-clinches-first-victory-in-mexico-city/, (Accessed 04/03/2018)
- 'Abt leads Audi one-two win at home race in Berlin', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/abt-leads-audi-one-two-win-at-home-race-in-berlin/, (Accessed 19/05/2018)
- 'Di Grassi victorious as Vergne clinches championship crown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/july/di-grassi-victorious-as-vergne-clinches-championship-crown/, (Accessed 15/07/2018)
- 'Daniel Abt confirmes drive with Audi in Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/06/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/june/daniel-abt-confirmes-drive-with-audi-in-season-5/, (Accessed 09/06/2018)
- 'Race Report: Da Costa - 'We did it baby, we're back!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2018), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/december/race-report-saudi, (Accessed 15/12/2018)
- 'Mahindra's d'Ambrosio made up with manic win in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report---2019-marrakesh, (Accessed 12/01/2019)
- 'Bird storms to victory in sweltering Santiago showdown', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 26/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report-santiago-2019, (Accessed 27/01/2019)
- 'Madness in Mexico sees di Grassi clinch miraculous win in epic photo finish', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/race-report-mexico-2019, (Accessed 17/02/2019)
- 'Bird victorious in furious battle for first on Hong Kong Harbourfront', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-hong-kong-2019, (Accessed 11/03/2019)
- 'Frijns emerges victorious in frantic French E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-paris-2019, (Accessed 27/04/2019)
- 'Di Grassi victorious in the battle for Berlin, home race victory for Audi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-berlin-2019, (Accessed 25/05/2019)
- 'Vergne victorious in frantic battle for Bern ahead of Championship finale', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 22/06/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/june/race-report-bern-2019, (Accessed 23/06/2019)
- 'Buemi wins in New York but disaster for Champ Vergne extends title challenge', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2019, (Accessed 14/07/2019)
- 'Nico Muller completes Geox Dragon driver line up', fiaformulae.com, (Accessed FIA Formula E, 17/09/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/september/muller-completes-dragon-line-up, (Accessed 18/09/2019)
- Matt Kew, 'Formula E takes control of Audi team licence sale', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 01/03/2021), https://www.autosport.com/formula-e/news/formula-e-takes-control-of-audi-team-licence-sale-5531748/5531748/ (Accessed 04/03/2021)
- 'Season 6 manufacturers confirmed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/04/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/april/season-6-manufacturers-confirmed/, (Accessed 01/12/2018)
- 'Double DTM champion Rene Rast joins Audi until end of the season', fiaformulae.com. (FIA Formula E, 19/06/2020), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2020/june/rast-audi, (Accessed 19/06/2020)
- 'Lucas di Grassi and Rene Rast return for Audi in 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship', fiaformulae.com, (ABB FIA Formula E, 27/10/2020), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2020/october/audi-driver-announcement-di-grassi-rast, (Accessed 27/10/2020)
- 'Daniel Abt joins NIO 333, replacing Ma until the end of the season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2020), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2020/june/abt-nio, (Accessed 01/07/2020)