Allan McNish says that the result for the Audi-powered cars in Marrakesh was “good” and that a combination of circumstances in the race stifled Lucas di Grassi’s ability to challenge Envision Virgin Racing’s customer cars.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has provided Envision Virgin with powertrains for the coming season and is yet to claim a top six finishing result whereas its customer cars took a double podium last weekend.
“[The cumulative result] was good I would have said,” McNish told e-racing365.
“We are not in a position that one is in a different performance level to the other, regarding us and our customer team, Envision Virgin Racing.
“And in terms of the collaboration, you know at the end of the day there are limited things that you can really do now because the cars are homologated.
“So, it is set up, its software and bits and pieces, but we are where we are in terms of the cars’ [development].”
Lucas di Grassi was stymied pre-race due to a lack of running in practice brought about through technical issues including a water pump failure.
Sam Bird experienced exactly the same issue but undertook more laps than di Grassi in the two crucial Free Practice sessions.
McNish said he believed di Grassi “did a good job in qualifying because the days have gone when you don’t get to do your quali sim runs in preparation and still be right up there.”
The 2016-17 champion was unable to keep pace in the closing stages of the race after deploying his second attack mode earlier than others and before the safety car was brought on track to attend to Antonio Felix da Costa’s stricken BMW.
McNish Defends di Grassi Shunt
McNish also defended his driver regarding the first lap incident where di Grassi rear-ended Pascal Wehrlein out of the race as he locked his brakes at Turn 1.
Mahindra boss Dilbagh Gill described his driver’s retirement from the race as “Pascal being rammed by [di Grassi].”
“[Di Grassi] got squeezed into the middle and lost a bit of bodywork and nose,” said McNish.
“If you have a shunt up ahead of you and people are slowing down to try to avoid cars and you are in the middle, what can you do?”
The bodywork pontoon on the left-hand side of di Grassi’s car was damaged in the accident and is understood to have had an effect on the speed of the car during the race.
McNish also stated that he is not interested in looking at the points table after two races.
“I don’t look at any points,” he said. “Honestly in terms of championship don’t get any points so far.
“It’s irrelevant and far too early. Very honestly, I don’t know how many points we have because that is not the championship table I look at. It’s too early for me.”