Allan McNish has described Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s start to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship season as “very difficult” but has vowed that the team will stay focused to try and eradicate the reliability issues which have blighted its campaign so far.
Despite being considered as the pre-season favorite, Audi has scored just one point from the last three races and sits eighth in the teams’ standings, 77 points adrift of leader Techeetah.
Team principal McNish has explained that the team is investigating whether or not the shutdown of Lucas di Grassi’s second Audi e-tron FE04 just after his pit stop in Santiago is related to the one which compromised earlier races.
“It definitely has not been a good start to the season, in fact I would describe it as very difficult, but we have to keep focused on the job in hand,” McNish told e-racing365.
“Some of it we can control and some we can’t, like Daniel [Abt]’s incident [with Nick Heidfeld].
“The thing that is frustrating is that we have clearly put together a good car which is driveable and one that can get results but the fact is we are not getting points and, as we know, points make prizes.”
McNish admits there is growing pressure for Audi to get results with its Season Four car, which has proven to be a strong contender when running cleanly, and has admitted his surprise at the continuing reliability problems which have prevented this.
“We all have pressure all the time, this race, next race, whenever, it is always present in this sport,” he said.
“The fact is it doesn’t change and we all have pressure to perform.
“Nothing has changed on the cars of course, and it is nothing that we can see that has a link at present.
“If there was a link you would look from one side of the garage to another. Daniel’s cars have run faultlessly and he has done more kilometers than anyone else prior to this race.
“Reliability problems normally relate across the garage. I don’t believe in coincidences and I don’t believe in luck.”
E-racing365 understands that Audi has looked at the possibility of its systems being affected by any nuances or style factors in di Grassi’s driving technique and operational style at the Marrakesh test last month but nothing was found.
The two opposing layouts and track surfaces of Marrakesh and Santiago are understood to have added further confusion as to why di Grassi’s car was affected by what appeared to be a similar technical issue at both venues.