Abt talks tracks, set-up and Fanboost

The Audi Sport ABT team has gone for a mix of youth and experience in its driver line-up. In signing Lucas di Grassi, the German has snared the only driver with any experience of the Spark-Renault, even if not at full power. Di Grassi also has rich experience in F1 and in competing at the very front of the Le Mans endurance racing pack. (Read our interview with him here.)

In Daniel Abt, the team has a much younger, rawer talent. But as he explains to Current E (with the ABT team’s press officer putting across the questions), his current experience of the junior formulae may actually give him an advantage. Listen to the interview, or read the summary below.

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Motivation for joining the series

“Well, it’s obvious that my dad started a team. But I was also impressed with the idea and I liked it a lot. For me, as I’m still a young driver, I think it’s a great opportunity to see and learn something else, and I hope the series will be great. I’m sure we’ll all have a lot of fun.”

Ambitions for year one

“It’s tough to say, but when we start a series we always want to be at the top and we always fight for wins. That has to be our goal. There are a lot of great names and a lot of good, experienced drivers. But I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to drive at the front.”

On the competition

“They have more experience than me, but I have all the experience you need to be able drive that car. It’s going to be a new challenge for everyone. Everyone has to learn to drive an electric car. Maybe it helps to be a bit younger and open minded!”

Relationship with team mate Lucas di Grassi

“We’ve met already. He seems to be a nice guy. I haven’t seen him race so I can’t say much about that. So far, the relationship is fine and I hope we’re going to have a good year together.”

Limited set-up opportunities

“You always have opportunities. I’ve always raced in series where everyone has the same car, and not too many options on the cars, and still there can be huge differences, especially with tyre management. It’s going to be a challenge for everyone. Also, managing the power of the engine will be key to being successful. It’s going to be tough, but the same for everyone.”

Coping with all-weather tyres and low downforce

“Tough to say. I’ve never driven tyres like that. It’s going to be a challenge in the beginning. I’ve already driven cars with low downforce. I think it just takes one or two days to get used to it, and then it will be ok.”

On switching from GP2 to Formula E

“I don’t really think GP2 helps in Formula E, or Formula E helps in GP2, because it’s really different. For me, as I’m still young, it’s just good to race a lot and gain a lot of experience. It’s good for my career.”

Track designs

“The track circuits on paper always look – not so spectacular. But when you’re on the race track and when you actually race on the streets around a big stadium, it’s going to be exiting. From what I’ve seen so far, the layouts are all good for racing and for overtaking opportunities, so it’s going to be fun.”

A home race

“It sounds a bit weird for me to say Berlin is my home race because it’s actually really far away. I don’t know really what to expect: I’ve never been to Tempelhof or anywhere there, so it’s as new for me as it is for the other drivers. But of course it’s great to be in Germany and I hope that a lot of German fans are coming and are going to support me and the team.”

Fanboost

“I think it’s great. I like social media stuff, I must say. It’s always good to go with trends like this and to have new ideas. The only important thing I see is that it has to be made such that it won’t decide a race. It should make the race more spectacular and should involve the fans, but if the only way to win is Fanboost then it’s not a good thing. I am quite sure that the series will look after that and that they will find a good compromise.”

1 Comment

  • Tobias Bluhm says:

    So I’ll definetly support him in Tempelhof! At least he has one German fan! Yeah! 😉 Just kidding, I’ve been there several times over the past few months. It will be a track with a long straight and a few slower 90° corners. Honestly quite boring, but a great place for a brilliant show. I’ll be there. Less than one year to go, folks!

    ~ Tobi

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