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Formula E: ABT captures lead of the standings in Formula E

ABT Sportsline Press Release

Inaugural race winner Lucas di Grassi on finishing the race in Putrajaya (Malaysia) as the runner-up defended his top spot in the driver classification. The next race of the series for full-electric open-wheel racing cars will be held in just three weeks from now in Punta del Este (Uruguay).

At the rear of the field after the first turn and on podium a little less than an hour later: The crowd lining the impressive city street circuit in Putrajaya, about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, experienced a thrilling race day. Lucas di Grassi, who competes for the only German outfit in the international field, was the protagonist yet again. The Brazilian had touched a wall in qualifying and had to start the race from the third from last grid position as a result. With a perfect strategy, fortune during a few safety car periods, and strong lap times the crowd-pleaser took second place at the end of the 31-lap race.

Interest was focused on Daniel Abt as well. The German, who is only 21, qualified for position three on the grid, outperforming names like Senna, Heidfeld, Piquet and Trulli. A technical problem at the start when the motor initially failed to pick up power caused Abt to drop to the last position at the beginning of the race. The team opted for an extremely risky strategy and called the youngster into the pits to switch cars after only eight of 31 laps. As a result, Abt led the field for a long time but in the second car had only a small amount of energy left so that he ‘anaemically’ lost ground on the final laps. Still, the point he scored for tenth place is the deserved reward for another terrific performance.

After two of ten races Lucas di Grassi, who had won the inaugural race in Beijing in mid-September, continues to lead the driver standings. In the team classification ABT Sportsline, thanks to the point-scoring finishes of its two drivers, has now taken the lead as well. The squads of Virgin Racing (whose driver Sam Bird won the race in Putrajaya) and e.dams-Renault are trailing ABT Sportsline in positions two and three of the standings.

The round in Putrajaya was the second of ten races of the FIA Formula E Championship which includes visits to China, Uruguay, Argentina, the United States, Great Britain and Germany. Fans won’t have to wait as long for the next race of the series as before because on 13 December – one day before the third Sunday of Advent – Daniel Abt and company will be competing on the waterfront of Punta del Este (Uruguay).

Drivers and team director – what they said

Hans-Jürgen Abt, Team Director: “This success again belongs to the whole team. Daniel did a fantastic job in qualifying and didn’t lose his cool after the setback at the start. And Lucas, as well, showed extremely strong nerves. Making the kind of showing he did just three hours after having slipped in qualifying proves true strength. Last but not least, the pit crew was perfectly prepared for any contingency as well and after the hot race took exactly the right decisions. I’m proud of all the members of our squad who remained cool in the heat of Malaysia.”

Lucas di Grassi (BR, 30, #11): “Congratulations to the race winners, as well as to the organisers of this perfect race weekend. Naturally, I hadn’t dared to dream of such a result following the qualifying session. Before the race we said to ourselves that we wouldn’t give up – this strength of will has paid off and is one of our great fortes. Working together with this team is huge fun. With two more races scheduled in the next seven weeks Formula E is now really picking up momentum – I can hardly wait.”

Daniel Abt (D, 21, #66): “This has been a day with ups and downs. I was happy to start from third place again in this strong field. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, I lost ground at the start. The early pit stop was obviously a risk but our only chance to recover. It’s a shame that in the end tenth place was again the best we could do. It’s a great feeling to be at the top of the standings with the team – in Uruguay we’re going to attack again.”

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