Audi Will Defend Its Formula E Title This Season

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Following a five-month break, the Formula E circus is returning for a fresh season on 15 December. The first race of the fifth season is scheduled to take place at Ad Diriyah. Ad Diriyah lies on the outskirts of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team with Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi aboard the newly-developed Audi e-Tron FE05 will be on the grid defending their title.

Showing off an impressive display of grit and determination ending with a spectacular final sprint at the last race weekend in New York City, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler clinched the teams’ championship last season. The cards will now be reshuffled. “We can hardly wait for the racing to finally start again,” says Team Principal Allan McNish. “It feels like the season finale with all of its emotions was a long time ago. Now we’re looking ahead. The joint pre-season tests in Valencia gave us an initial impression of the relative strengths in the new season.

“But in motorsport, nothing compares to the magic of the first race day with the first qualifying and race, when you really know where you stand, especially after the months of hard work done by everyone back in Neuburg. My feeling can best be described as suspense and nervous anticipation.”

The opening race at Ad Diriyah marks the beginning of a new era in Formula E. Most importantly, thanks to the larger battery capacity of the new-gen car, the previously mandatory mid-race car swap is now unnecessary. Even so, the format will remain strategically exciting with the “Attack Mode”. Although this mode, which is essentially a temporary power boost, is tightly controlled by FIA, it sounds rather appealing. We would love to watch electric race cars on the track enter “Attack Mode” and zip past opponents in their sights.

The race distance for the new season will always be 45 minutes plus one lap. The power output in race mode is increased from 241hp to 268hp. Fans will be able to support their favourite teams through votes cast on the Formula E website, among other voting platforms. Five drivers with the highest number of votes acquire the “FanBoost” that can be activated in the second half of the race. FanBoost is good for a short-term power boost to 335hp.

Two more Audi FE05 cars will be debuting this season from Envision Virgin Racing. The UK-based racing team has Sam Bird and Robin Frijns as drivers. It uses the powertrain around the Audi Schaeffler MGU03 motor-generator unit. “It’s great that, together with Envision Virgin Racing, four Audi e-Tron FE05 cars will be battling for trophies this season,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “That this renowned team has opted for our powertrain also confirms the outstanding work done by our engineers together with their colleagues from our development partner Schaeffler.”

Formula E is shaping up to be an exciting race series to immerse ourselves in. With nifty gimmicks like FanBoost and Attack Mode, it sure is going to be a fun-to-watch form of motorsports.

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