Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler unsurprisingly announced Lucas Di Grassi and Daniel Abt as their drivers for the fourth season.
The defending FIA Formula E Champion Di Grassi has been a guarantee for a long time, but there was a bit more doubt about Daniel Abt. Abt has occasionally been just as fast as Di Grassi, but he’s often been unlucky with technical issues.
The new car will be named Audi e-tron FE04 and will have a significant different design that its predecessors. White and green will be the dominants colours, and then Audi has decided to make it easier to differentiate the two cars. While white will be the major colour of Di Grassi, the car of Abt will have some red markings on the nose, the roll hoop and the rear wing.
Another significant change on the car is some extra wheel covers, making the car more aerodynamic efficient. They look very much like the ones that Formula 1 had a few years back, until they were banned – but now they are on the new Audi car. The pictures from the Renault launch yesterday didn’t show any covers – but it’s very likely for all other manufacturers to copy those, if they turn out to be an advantage.
There are other technical changes too. The car won’t have any conventional gearbox, but only one gear. Gearboxes shouldn’t already not be needed since and electrical motor just will keep pulling and pulling, until reaching maximum speed. So Audi Sport has chosen to do it like that for the coming 2017/18 season.
The team will have a new team principal. The former triple Le Mans winner, Allan McNish. The Scotsman will be the new man leading the team, but he has already attended quite a few races during the first seasons, and a constant member through the whole Season 3. It will be his first big task since he stopped racing their Le Mans car after the 2013, after becoming World Champion. Since then he has had an ambassador role for Audi regarding motorsport and street cars.
Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be heading to Valencia for a 3-days test in the coming week, alongside all the other Formula E teams.