Audi was the first premium German manufacturer to announce its entry into Formula E with a full factory backed team and next year they’ll be working with winners.
Lucas di Grassi, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s driver, on Sunday took home the third ever Formula E drivers’ championship and did it while starting from a deficit.
“Today is the best day in my career,” said di Grassi after the final race. “Three years ago, we won the first Formula E race in Beijing and now finally the title as well. ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler and Audi Sport have done a perfect.”
Going into Montreal this weekend for the final two races of the 2016-2017 season, di Grassi was 10 points behind defending champion Sebastien Buemi.
Before the race even started, the two drivers were already battling, with an exchange of pointed words. Buemi effectively accused di Grassi of being a cheat, while di Grassi accused Buemi of folding under pressure.
On Saturday, during free practice, di Grassi’s words looked prescient as Buemi destroyed the front end of his car by taking a corner too tight.
Di Grassi, meanwhile, did exactly what he had to do and took pole later that day. From there, it was a lights to flag lead in the weekend’s first race, giving him the lead in the driver’s championship, following a low-points finish from Buemi.
Sunday’s performance was less dominant, but a seventh-place finish meant that di Grassi had done enough to take the championship.
“For me, Lucas di Grassi is currently the most complete driver in Formula E,” said Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport. “After New York, there probably weren’t a lot of people expecting him to be able to turn the tables in the title race anymore. But Lucas never gave up for even a second and continually motivated the whole squad to deliver top performances.”
Gass seemed aware, too, of the importance of having a strong team in the coming years.
This victory “after BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are going to follow us into this forward-thinking racing series underlines the growing importance of fully electric motorsport,” said Gass. “I’m already looking forward to the opener of the new Formula E season in Hong Kong in December when our factory-backed commitment opens up a new chapter in Audi’s motorsport history.”