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McNish Defiant After Audi’s Disastrous Start

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Team Principal Allan McNish has vowed to ‘fightback and dig-in’ after another disastrous race…

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team principal Allan McNish has vowed to “fight back and dig in” after another disastrous race for the team in Marrakesh.

The German manufacturer sits a joint seventh in the teams’ championship, following Lucas di Grassi’s retirement due to technical issue and Daniel Abt’s single point earned following the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.

McNish, however,  believes that the difficult start will galvanize the team and lead to a fightback in the coming races.

“It is obviously not the start we wanted but it is what we have got,” he told e-racing365.

“We just have to fightback and dig in. It’s like Le Mans. It only finishes at the end of the race, it doesn’t finish halfway through. You have to have the spirit to come back stronger, and we will do that straightaway.”

McNish admitted that despite the pace shown in practice by the Audi e-tron FE04 in Marrakesh, the issues the team faced were “disappointing.”

“We knew it would be tough here because it wasn’t one of our best races last year,” he said. “The performance we had in practice looked good but qualifying was always going to be tight.

“Lucas had the problem in qualifying and Daniel had the red flag which you can’t do much about.

“You don’t get very many clean races in Formula E. It is so close and you can see that someone like [Jose Maria] Lopez can come in with a team that was at the back in the last race and be right in the hunt for a potential podium.

“So it’s ultra-close out there, but yes it is disappointing.”

Its currently unknown if the change of inverter which took place on one of di Grassi’s cars between qualifying and the race was related to the problem that led to his eventual retirement.

“We are investigating it at the moment,” McNish said.

“Because of the time to change an inverter and when the team got the car park from Parc Ferme after qualifying, the diagnosis time is limited.

“We were forced to make a call and they chose to change the inverter which takes just over an hour to complete.”

As a consequence, the team had to take one of its technical jokers for the inverter change.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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