Down to the Wire – A Review of the London ePrix Doubleheader
What drama! Forget Brexit, the last race weekend of the 2015/16 Formula E season held in London on July 2 and 3, proved to be a nail-biter until the very end. With both championships for driver and team on the line, all eyes were the two drivers who still could decide the battle for glory in this doubleheader in Battersea Park – our Warsteiner-sponsored ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver, Lucas di Grassi, and his rival, Sébastien Buemi, from the Renault.eDams team.
Saturday saw a gripping race with both contenders closely trailing each other throughout the course. While thousands of fans in the stands and on social media followed the action with baited breath, some sweet driving wizardry and a well-deserved fan boost put di Grassi slightly ahead of Buemi, extending his lead to three points over his Swiss rival before the final race of the season the next day.
However, at race time on Sunday, the three point lead had all but vanished after Buemi picked up three points for the fastest lap in qualifying. And so the title race began with both drivers starting with equal points – the perfect setup for a thriller.
Already in the first round, a dramatic collision involving the two drivers dashed all hopes for winning the race the old-fashion way. Suddenly, both drivers had only one chance to claim the world title – by putting up the fastest lap…worth two points. In the end, Buemi snatch the driver championship from di Grassi with a lap that was merely 0.483 seconds faster than that of the Brazilian. Additionally, the win by Nicolas Prost, Buemi‘s stable mate, sealed the team championship for the Renault e.Dams crew.
While all eyes were on the great battle for the championship, the second ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver and our Warsteiner brand ambassador, Daniel Abt, continued his spectacular performance of recent races and secured a fantastic second place finish and overall seventh place in the driver standing.
Team manager, Hans-Jürgen Abt: “In just its second year, the Formula E has established its place as one of the world’s most thrilling and innovative racing series….My thanks go to our mechanics, engineers, partners, fans and our drivers, Daniel and Lucas. They shaped the season with their performances and demeanor and created many unforgettable moments. We’re going to draw new motivation from this and will give everything again to be in contention for trophies, champagne and the championship.” Well said! We congratulate our successful ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport partners to their double vice-championships!
Prior to the race, our Warsteiner “Electric Thursday” party provided the perfect kick-off to this exciting racing weekend. Thanks to our Warsteiner UK team and Marston’s Beer Company, more than 200 guests enjoyed the chance to hobnob with our Formula E heroes and partied well into the night.
But in addition to the fun, the excitement, and the spectacular races, the Formula E celebrates innovation and sustainability at the highest level by pushing the envelope of what is possible in electric motorsport. With the 2016/17 season starting October 9 in Hong Kong, we look forward to watching Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt in the new ABT Schaeffler FE02 beast in action! Until then, Cheers Warsteiner!