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Abt: “Los Angeles and Miami have to make a comeback!”

The Berlin E-Prix 2018 marks the fourth time Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver Daniel Abt will take on the challenging streets of his capital city. In this interview he talks about the unique experience that is electric racing, what makes the Berlin E-Prix so emotional for him and which races he misses on the calendar.

What makes Formula E so very special?

On the sporting side of things, it’s the close and spectacular racing that we experience over and over again. Even on the last lap you can never be sure that you will actually cross the line in the position you are currently in. Formula E is insanely demanding, because you cannot just concentrate on driving, but you need to be your own energy manager as well. And off track, it is the fantastic locations. I have to be honest with you: New York, Mexico City and Paris are something very different to Oschersleben and Hockenheim.

Looking at the technology, Formula E differs a great deal from other racing series out there. Which unique challenges to the drivers have to master due to these differences?

When the pure driving is concerned, there aren’t that many differences to driving other racing cars, actually – apart from the fact that we don’t have tools such as traction control. The big challenge is energy management. In each car, I only have a limited amount of energy that I have to smartly divide to manage the balancing act between attacking and conserving energy. For example: I’d like to attack and overtake someone, which means I lose more energy and then I have to go into save-mode – which gives my competitors on track a chance to pass me. So you need to look at your race from a strategic side of things and also keep a cool head at all times.

Two years ago, Daniel Abt managed the difficult street canyons of Berlin well and secured a strong second place.

Big manufacturers are getting more and more active in the series. What do you think will change in Formula E due to their growing commitment?

The competition will be bigger – that’s something we can already see this season. And I am very happy about that, because Formula E’s significance continues to grow thanks to all this. Also, it’s great that the manufacturers can do a lot more in terms of marketing compared to smaller teams. It’s fantastic that you can see more and more adverts and TV spots of Formula E nowadays.

No German driver was able to win the Berlin E-Prix yet. How important would winning the race be to you?

Obviously, winning the Berlin E-Prix would be the highlight of my Formula E career so far. The party on the podium in Mexico was already absolutely amazing, but celebrating with my fans at home would be an outstanding experience. I secured the second place two years ago and that has already been extremely emotional for me.

The ABB Formula E Championship always takes place in fascinating city centres all over the world. Which ones do you miss at the moment?

That’s an easy one: Los Angeles and Miami have to make a comeback! We had some really awesome races there in the past with a lot of crazy fans.

About Antonia Grzelak
Toni is the founder and CEO of Apart from taking care of management and marketing, she acts as the editor-in-chief and is responsible for ERN's content strategy. Furthermore, she is our very own caffeine addict and is barely ever seen without a huge coffee mug in her hand.