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McNish: Audi Ad Diriyah Form Not “True Reflection”

Allan McNish: Audi’s disappointing pace in Saudi Arabia not a true reflection…

Photo: Audi Sport

Allan McNish thinks that a combination of circumstances contributed to Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s disappointing pace in the opening ABB FIA Formula E Championship race in Ad Diriyah on Saturday.

The German manufacturer was never in contention at the front of the field after a troubled qualifying which included penalties and then a lackluster race.

Team principal McNish believes that the Season Five Audis will be back in contention at the second round in Marrakesh next month.

“I don’t think it is a reflection of where the performance of the car is,” McNish told e-racing365.

“Actually, I am confident we are in the mix but certainly here it wasn’t what we wanted to take out of it.

“There were so many variables out there like the temperature, the lack of running, the attack mode strategy, the new tires, that the fundamental key was to get to the end of the race.”

Audi completed the majority of its private development testing at the Mallorca circuit in the Balearic Islands which sees consistently high temperatures during the summer months.

McNish refused to pinpoint any specific temperature-related issues though and said multiple circumstances were the likely reasons for the Audi e-tron FE05 to be off the pace.

“I don’t think the cars were very balanced and I don’t think we really hit the sweet spot with it,” McNish said.

“With the speeds of the first and seconds sectors where it as so fast and fluent, if you can’t carry good mid-corner speed and momentum your lap-time is in trouble.

“We just didn’t switch it on in the race and it was all a bit disappointing from that respect.”

Daniel Abt was left frustrated after the race and said he struggled for pace in his car throughout.

“We totally lacked speed and it was not a good day for us, that is clear,” Abt told e-racing365.

“In the beginning I felt I can stay with the group of people I was with but for me there was no way to pass. The acceleration didn’t feel good.

“First, we have to understand where we really lack the performance, it’s going to be a tough few weeks now.”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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