On Friday, both ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Renault e.Dams announced that they would head into season three with the same driver line-ups. The early confirmation and continuity in their squad already provides them with a big advantage going into the next season.
Making use of the immense media attention due to their home ePrix in Berlin, the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team announced that they would stay with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt in the fast-approaching season three. The official confirmation early on in the day brought an end to numerous rumours stating that di Grassi would leave the team at the end of the season due to several reasons. Only a few hours later, Renault e.Dams – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s biggest opponent in the fight for the prestigious Formula E team title – followed the German team’s example and confirmed that Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost would form the squad for another year.
The two championship contenders are the first teams to announce their line-ups for next season. With one less thing to worry about, both teams can head into season three with an advantage in comparison to the remaining seven teams on the grid. With the pressure of finding the perfect line-up for the challenge that is season three off their shoulders, the teams can focus all their energy on supplying their drivers with the best material possible for the 2016/2017 season. The early confirmation is another advantage considering that both teams are still competing for the current teams’ title and therefore have to focus on the current season more than other teams further down the field.
Nevertheless, the biggest chance for both teams to compete on the top of the field is the continuity in their line-ups. Being familiar with the drivers’ approaches and with established relationships within the team, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Renault e.Dams could pit this competitive advantage against other Formula E teams – which might eventually hand them an advantage in the fight for the title.
Furthermore, both teams’ squads have proven themselves to be really successful as both teams have been able to take part in the combat for both championships in season one as well as season two. Unlike Dragon Racing – currently third in the teams’ championship – ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Renault e.Dams can focus on one single driver in the fight for the driver’s title as their are distinctive performance difference between their respective drivers. While both Abt and Prost provide their teams with vital points for the teams’ championship, they only play an subordinate role in the fight for the drivers’ title. This allows the teams to focus on di Grassi and Buemi respectively in the crown combat giving them the opportunity to gain an edge over teams such as Dragon Racing who have two equally performing drivers, stealing points from each other in the fight for the championship.
While the superior powertrains are a major reason behind the success of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport and Renault e.Dams respectively, the continuity in their line-ups is another important factor in making them the two ruling teams in the all-electric racing series.