Lucas di Grassi takes podium for Audi in Berlin

Second race of Formula E in Berlin, first podium for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. From sixth on the grid, Lucas di Grassi moved up to third place on evening of Thursday 6th August.

After 8th place on the opening day, di Grassi had an impressive comeback on Thursday. The Brazilian set the fastest time in free practice. In qualifying, he made it into the “Super Pole” of the fastest six drivers. In the race, di Grassi made up two positions in the early stages and then fought a spectacular duel with Robin Frijns in the Audi e-tron FE06 of customer team Envision Virgin Racing, which was narrowly won by the Brazilian.

“When you’re on the podium in Formula E, it was a good day,” said di Grassi. “We worked hard overnight and improved the car a lot compared to yesterday. Nevertheless, the race was again hard work. We’ll continue to work in order to extract even more performance from the car. We are driving the other way around in Berlin from Saturday onwards, which should also suit us.”

On his second race day for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, René Rast had a similar mishap as Lucas di Grassi on Wednesday. “I took a bit too much of a risk in qualifying,” said Rast. “While braking for the first turn, the right front wheel locked. As a result, I completely missed the apex of the corner and qualified last.”

Rast started from the pit lane and made up ten positions in the race. In the end, the German missed out on scoring points by only 1.7 seconds. On the other hand, the Formula E rookie gained a lot more experience. “Overall, I’m very satisfied with how the team reacted after the difficult first day,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “We improved considerably compared to Wednesday. Lucas was extremely strong and showed the fighting spirit he’s known for. He is now second in the drivers’ championship. It’s a shame that René was unlucky in qualifying, otherwise he would have scored more points.”

Robin Frijns and Sam Bird finished fourth and sixth for Envision Virgin Racing, which meant that three Audi e-tron FE06 cars finished in the top six on Thursday evening.

Audi driver Lucas di Grassi also scored points in the fourth race of the Formula E finale in Berlin, keeping his chances very much alive to finish the season as runner-up. On the evening of Sunday 9th August, the Brazilian drove his Audi e-tron FE06 from 12th on the grid to sixth in light rain and partially wet track conditions.

Before the last two races, the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver is tied on points with Max Guenther (BMW) in third place. This means that the runner-up spot of the drivers’ championship is now the target for the last two races of the season this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday in Berlin.

Both driver’s and team’s titles were clinched on Sunday. “First of all, congratulations to Antonio Felix da Costa and DS Techeetah on winning the titles,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “We made the most of our package in qualifying today. Lucas was only a tenth of a second behind first place in the difficult first group. René (Rast) had a great lap to make it into the top ten for the first time in qualifying. Unfortunately, after a strong early phase in the race, late in the race he got pushed back in traffic. Lucas again showed his fighting spirit. But, when he had worked his way up to sixth place, the top five drivers at the front were already out of reach.”

“I was 90 percent satisfied with my qualifying,” said di Grassi. “If you start from 12th, you can’t expect much more than we achieved today.”

Eighth in qualifying, René Rast missed Super Pole of the fastest six drivers by only 0.046 seconds. “Finally, things were going better in qualifying. Unfortunately, after a good start to the race, things went in the wrong direction and I only finished 16th,” said the German. Sam Bird from customer team Envision Virgin Racing set the fastest race lap in his Audi e-tron FE06. The Briton fought his way forward from 16th on the grid to 11th. His teammate Robin Frijns was unable to take the start due to an issue with the powertrain of his car.