Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is “quite happy” with its performance and reliability after the completion of manufacturer testing for the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship season, according to team principal Allan McNish.
As a customer supplier to Virgin Racing, reigning teams’ champion Audi was granted an extra seven days of testing in recent months.
It has tested largely in complete isolation at its Neuburg facility and at a track in Mallorca, and is tipped to be a clear favorite in the new-look championship alongside DS Techeetah.
“In general I think we are quite happy in terms of car reliability and performance. It’s hitting the marks that we thought it would do,” McNish told e-racing365.
“The question as ever is where is everyone else because you are really only as happy as the performance allows at the first race.
“You always want more time and you always want better. I feel we are in better shape than last year in terms of understanding and performance but it’s a new car as well now with new tires and performance parameters.”
McNish thinks that the only time all teams tested together at Calafat and Monteblanco in March gives minimal indication of any pecking order as the field readies for the official test at Valencia later this month.
“Going testing on your own you can only reference yourself of course,” he said.
“That is why the group tests in Spain back in March gave us a bit of an insight but it was also far too early to make any real conclusions.
“There are so many question marks out there but the ones we are in control of I think we are reasonably happy right now.”
New ‘Attack Mode’ Not Yet “Totally Defined”
McNish says the team “really needs” to understand how the new ‘attack mode’ will be implemented in races this season, with few details having yet been released.
The specifics of the system will be analyzed at Valencia with several tests, which could include an informal simulation race on the final day of the Oct. 16-19 test.
The 2018-19 Formula E sporting rules state that: “the number of activations and the duration of the use of the attack mode will be determined at each race by the FIA, according to the special features of the circuits”.
“It’s not totally defined in every detail yet,” said McNish.
“There is always going to be an element of jeopardy when you turn up to a track because the FIA will not inform you about the specifics of the attack-mode until then.
“We will see some more in Valencia about how and when it will be used. We really need to.”