My Racing Office

Daniel Abt has one of the fastest and coolest offices in the world: The Audi e-tron FE05 Formula E racecar. Here the current Formula E teams’ champion shares more about the cockpit of his car.

01/23/2019 Reading Time: 4 min

Daniel Abt in the Audi e-tron FE05
Audi e-tron FE05 on the racetrack

Daniel Abt and his teammate Lucas di Grassi are the drivers for Audi in the fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during 2018–2019. They are both behind the wheel of Audi e-tron FE05 cars. The Formula E racecar is powered by the Audi Schaeffler MGU03 Motor Generator Unit, which was jointly developed by Audi and its technology partner Schaeffler. It delivers a power output of up to 250 kW (340 hp). The Audi e-tron FE05 has rear-wheel drive and a single-gear gearbox. The fully electric racecar accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in approx. 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 240 km/h on the racetrack.

Daniel Abt in the garage

TIGHT SPACE

Daniel Abt: “The cockpit of my Audi e-tron FE05 is very tight. For example, I cannot stretch out my arms fully inside of it. The level of comfort in terms of seating depends directly on how well my seat has been moulded exactly to my body shape. We spend a lot of time during the seat fitting process to ensure that it is formed correctly. The complete seat must fit perfectly and be built in safely inside the car. The correct form is also important because it reduces the chance of pain or pressure being experienced whilst driving. My six-point harness with a central buckle can only be fastened with assistance from one of the mechanics.”

Cockpit of the Audi e-tron FE05

GOOD VIEW

Daniel Abt: “As is the case with all single-seater designs, the open cockpit of my Formula E racecar also provides great all-round visibility. It is difficult to gauge where the corners of your front wing are, because you cannot see it from the driver’s perspective behind the steering wheel. The halo has not changed much – the new safety feature above the cockpit. When I drove the car for the first time, the new structure was clearly noticeable in front of me. However, after two or three laps, I was looking straight past it, as if it wasn’t there. It is the same with your own nose. You simply look past it and you do not see it at all.”

Shoes

NEED TO PUSH

Daniel Abt: “The Audi e-tron FE05 has two pedals for the driver. The accelerator pedal is on the right and the brake pedal is on the left – the same as in a road car with an automatic gearbox. A difference is the larger amount of force required when pressing the pedals in my Formula E race car. This is especially true when braking. Another point that is different is the fact that I left-foot brake in the race car and only use my right foot to accelerate.”

 

Shoes

COMPLETELY INFORMED

Daniel Abt: “The display on my steering wheel provides me with the real-time information that I need when I’m in the car. The display lies within my direct line of sight. Therefore, I have all of this information easily available to me whilst driving. In addition to this, telemetry from the car is sent to the team in pit lane. There, my engineers receive and analyse the data whilst I am on track. I am also directly connected to pit lane via the radio system. I wear earphones that are in sync with a built-in microphone inside my helmet. This system as a unit is connected to the car via a cable from my helmet. When I press on the button located on my steering wheel, it opens my channel and then I am able to speak to the crew.”

Daniel Abt shows his steering wheel

EVERYTHING IN HAND

Daniel Abt: “The steering wheel of my Audi e-tron FE05 is a fascinating piece of equipment. I do not only steer with it, but also use it to change all of the settings. Here I provide an overview of the most important steering wheel functions of my Formula E racecar.”

 

Steering wheel of the Audi e-tron FE05

1 Display  
 
2 PG = Page (Changing the information page on the display)

3 OK = Acknowledge (Confirming warning indicators)

4 Warning lights (Indicates information from the race directors. Eg. Blue when being overtaken by a faster car, or yellow when there is an incident and passing is forbidden.)

5 + and – = Plus and Minus (Pressed to change the number of remaining laps)

6 RAD = Radio (Opening and closing the radio channel)

7 ATK = Attack Mode activation (An additional 25 kW for a total of 225 kW in the race)

8 Freely programmable knobs for set-up and power options. Power options include: 110 kW in shakedown, 200 kW in the race, 250 kW for two laps in free practice and then also in qualifying)

9 G = Gear (Pressed for neutral and to select the single forward and reverse gears)

10 FCY = Full Course Yellow (Limits the speed of the car to 50 km/h for when the entire circuit has been neutralised under yellow flag conditions and passing is forbidden)

11 Pit (Activates the pit lane speed limiter and reduces the speed to a limit of 50 km/h)

12 Red toggles (Changes values on the display)

13 Paddle top right (Activates and select menus on the display)

14 Paddle top left (Fanboost activation for an additional 50 kW in the race, taking the total output to 250 kW)

15 Paddles in the middle (Brake balance adjustment, shifting the bias forwards or rearwards)

16 Paddles on the bottom corners (Activation of the energy recuperation)

Buttons

EVEN MORE BUTTONS

Daniel Abt: “On the left-hand side of the cockpit, directly next to my leg, there are more buttons and switches: For example: The main switch to turn the car on and off, and the switch for the car’s built-in fire extinguisher.”

Lights

LIGHT SHINES FOR SAFETY

Daniel Abt: “When I get in or out of the car, I always check the warning lights in front of the cockpit. These lights indicate the status of my racecar and if it is safe for me, my mechanics or anyone else to touch the car.”

Daniel Abt in the Audi e-tron FE05

LUCKY CHARM GONE

Daniel Abt: “As a final note: I do not have any good luck charms with me inside the car anymore. I honestly think that these items do not really help you. Furthermore, if you do have such an item, but then forget to take it with you, then you really feel bad. I always want to feel good in the cockpit, regardless of any outside factors. Earlier in my career, I used to carry a small stone with me, but this was only as a mental concentration exercise.”

COCKPIT

Steering wheel of the Audi e-tron FE05
Helmet
Audi e-tron FE05 in the garage

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