04/11/2021 Reading Time: 1 min

Formula E: Disappointment in Rome

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team experienced two disappointing races at the FIA Formula E World Championship in Rome: In the first race, Lucas di Grassi was the tragic hero, the Brazilian rolling out five minutes before the end of the race while leading. In the second race on Sunday, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler lost both Audi e-tron FE07 due to accidents. With a faultless race, the three-time DTM champion René Rast fought his way up into sixth position on Saturday.

Audi e-tron FE07 on the racetrack

Victory narrowly missed

The third round of the FIA Formula E in Rome on Saturday was five minutes too long for Lucas di Grassi: leading the race and already eyeing victory, the Brazilian from the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team came to a stop without drive three laps from the finish. “Our car is fantastic,” said Lucas di Grassi ahead of the first European weekend of the new Formula E season. The Audi factory driver underlined his statement by setting the fastest time in the first free practice session and fourth place on the grid. In the spectacular E-Prix on the redesigned circuit in the Italian capital, the entire field remained close together. Di Grassi took the lead early on and kept the upper hand in numerous fierce battles. The deserved victory was within his grasp, but the Brazilian suddenly slowed down and had to park his Audi e-tron FE07 with only five minutes remaining. “A mechanical problem so close to the end of the race is tough,” said di Grassi. “For the mechanics, for the engineers and for me. We had the speed to win the race.”

René Rast im Audi e-tron FE07

Rast in sixth place

Teammate René Rast already hurt his chance for a podium in qualifying. After making slight contact with a wall, the German was unable to complete his timed lap. With a faultless race, the three-time DTM champion fought his way up into the points. “When you start from 20th on the grid, you have to be happy with sixth place,” said Rast, who is also sixth in the overall Formula E drivers’ standings. “It was a cool race, I had a lot of fun, the car was fast.”

Disappointing end

A wet qualifying session early on Sunday morning already went anything but as hoped for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. René Rast had to settle for 19th on the grid. Teammate Lucas di Grassi experienced slightly better conditions in his qualifying group and started from 13th. The Brazilian quickly worked his way up into the points in the race, before he was hit in the back by Sébastien Buemi on a straight on lap eight and violently crashed into the barriers. “This was a very dangerous move,” said di Grassi.

 

As on the previous day, René Rast showed an impressive comeback drive that brought the reigning DTM champion up into the top ten. Four laps before the end of the race, the German clipped the wall, causing the right rear suspension to break, resulting in Rast also hitting the wall. “I had a moment of oversteer out of the last corner,” said Rast. “A small mistake with a huge consequence.”

Allan McNish

“Extremely bitter”

“Losing both cars due to accidents is extremely bitter,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “The situation that led to Lucas’s retirement was disappointing where the video looked like Sébastien caught Lucas at the rear and spun him into the wall. René made a small mistake that led to his retirement. The most important thing is that both remained unhurt, because both experienced quite hard impacts. It is annoying that the final race result again remained below our potential here. As in Diriyah, we had one of the fastest cars in the field.”

Formula E Rome: Results documents to download

Race 1

1 page, EN

PDF

102.2 KB

Race 2

1 page, EN

PDF

102.8 KB

Standings

2 pages

PDF

568.1 KB

Rome

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
Audi e-tron FE07 on the racetrack
Lucas di Grassi in the Audi e-tron FE07

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