08. February 2016

Third Formula E Race – A Great Rivalry Develops

Car racing is known for its legendary rivalries! Fans around the world passionately recall icons like Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost, Mika Häkkinen/Michael Schumacher - or Jeff Gordon/Dale Earnhardt from the NASCAR world – rivalries that inject additional spice and human interest to the hypercompetitive world of car racing.

The Formula E is no stranger to this phenomenon, and the third race of the 2015/16 Formula E season culminated again in a fantastic showdown between our Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi of the Warsteiner sponsored ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team and his Swiss rival Sébastien Buemi in the cockpit for the Renault e.dams team.

Held in the gorgeous beachside resort town of Punta del Este in Uruguay, the course is often called the “Monaco of South America” for its tight street turns and beach-side rounds where occasionally sand might drift onto the track, testing drivers with some slippery maneuvers.

But driving skills alone were not enough; this race was decided by the pit crew. At one point, di Grassi slid into his mandatory pit stop to swap cars while in fourth position, only to leave the paddock in second place, thanks to the phenomenal performance by his crew that nailed the required minimum 59 seconds pit stop time with a jaw-dropping 59.2 seconds.

Although Buemi edged out di Grassi when the checkered flag fell, claiming his second victory in three races, his Brazilian rival is still the only driver to have claimed a trophy in all three races this season. Di Grassi’s teammate and our Warsteiner brand ambassador, Daniel Abt, played it smart after bumping the wall and losing some ground by focusing on collecting valuable points that firmly positioned his ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team in second place in the team standing.

With the next race scheduled on February 6 in Buenos Aires, the well-deserved holiday break provides the teams with some rest and opportunities to tweak their cars. Since the competition never sleeps, di Grassi remains focused on the future: “Renault and Sébastien Buemi are the favorites who need beating. But we will be hounding them relentlessly and will be ready to pounce if they make the smallest error.” With just one point separating di Grassi from first place in the driver standing, we look forward to the next chapter in this exciting rivalry!

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