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Abt Raises Concern Over Crash Damage Risks

Audi’s Daniel Abt is wary about early race contact compromizing races this season…

Photo: Formula E

Daniel Abt expects some of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship races to be compromized by contact between the new Gen 2 cars.

The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver believes the protruding rear diffusor on the radical new car design could prove vulnerable in race combat situations.

Jean-Eric Vergne told e-racing365 in October that he was also concerned about what he termed ‘tactical contact’ by some drivers in the opening stages of races this season.

Abt has warned that the diffusors, which are the chief generator of downforce in the new cars, are particularly susceptible to contact in the heavy braking areas early in races.

“We saw this [contact] last season a lot,” Abt told e-racing365.

“We will only find out when we go in to tight hairpins in the opening laps because there is definitely the danger that we could have a broken diffuser easily because someone has run in to our back.

“The danger is there but I think everyone needs to be aware of this more [with the new cars] and hopefully there is enough respect on track to at least be safe on that side.”

The German also raised concern about drivers now having just one car for the event, instead of the previous two, with the schedule so tightly packed into one day.

He suffered some damage to his Audi e-tron FE05 during the early stages of the test race at Valencia in October but nevertheless believes that some aspects of the new cars are stronger than their predecessors.

“Now if you crash before the race there is no second car and your weekend can be heavily compromized by having an incident,” he said.

“I tested in Valencia how good the nose was in terms of crashing!

“Actually I was quite surprised when I had that crash at the chicane that apart from some nose damage everything else was 100 percent still in place. I think the car is stronger than last year’s.

“But it will be the same because if you crash, you lose parts, it is going to be a tough day.”

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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