Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Director Thomas Biermaier says last season’s FIA Formula E Championship title success will make the newly named squad even stronger in years to come.
The team, which was formerly known as ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, has swapped its name around in deference to Audi, with the German manufacturer effectively taking over the entry for the coming season.
Additionally, despite the semantics of the ABT moniker being given to the official powertrain registration, e-racing365 believes that Audi will take over the naming rights of the manufacturer entry for Season Five.
For Biermaier, the momentum gained by last season’s title success will be significant, as the company he helps steer with Hans-Jurgen Abt grows further in the burgeoning series.
“It is difficult to compare what we have achieved before,” Biermaier told e-racing365. “But if we have to, then it would be with 2002 in the DTM, when we won the championship as a private team against Opel and Mercedes.
“But here with a new technology in Formula E, we have a new kind of motorsport, one that is new for everyone.
“We missed winning it in Season One and Season Two, but in Season Three I think we deserved it, it was a big moment. To get one title in three years I think we have really deserved this.
“Looking back, the key thing is in Season One we got disqualified [at Berlin] and we lost out [on the championship].”
After that initial disappointment, Abt showed fortitude in coming back in Season Two, but yet again self-inflicted wounds had to be licked.
“I think that the key thing from us is demonstrating the mentality to never give up and it makes us strong to have bad moments,” Biermaier said. “In Season Two when we got disqualified in Mexico, it was a disaster for us.
“In Season Three it was the same problem for Renault e.dams though. [Sebastien] Buemi got disqualified two times, so in Formula E if you make no mistakes, you can win the championship.
“This year, we only had one bad weekend, in Paris, and at all the other events we were very good. But I have to say we were actually more competitive in Season Two compared to Season Three with the car and the whole package.”
This is a crucial point and one readily acknowledged by the team and particularly di Grassi, who bounced back from a broken leg and, as Biermaier attests, a disastrous race in Paris, to take the title.
“There have been key moments in the three seasons where the team has had to say never give up, we are fighting until the last lap and this was a key part in the Season Three championship run,” he said.
“You can say that Franco [Chiocchetti] – di Grassi’s engineer, Lucas himself and the whole team were really living it and we are saying, ‘OK, even if we only have a small chance in Montreal, use it and get strength from it.’”
For Season Four, Biermaier believes that Audi’s now direct involvement will only be positive for a more concentrated attack, one which will make the team stronger as a unit.
“Season Four will be completely different with Audi being a lot more involved and it is more along the lines of the DTM now,” he said.
“They know us inside and out, and we know them, so together we can be stronger and really push on to get more wins and more titles.”