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Gass: Season six all about “maximising every little detail”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass discusses his outlook of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s performance and his approach for taking on season six.

Reigning team champions, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler are currently ranked third in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship team standings and with only four more rounds left on the season five calendar, the competition is only going to get even fiercer for them to defend their title.

Ahead of their home race at the Berlin E-Prix, e-racing.net speaks to Dieter Gass, the Head of Audi Motorsport. The 56-year-old took over his current position from longtime Audi stalwart Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and is similar to his predecessor in a way that he runs a tight ship. He’s expecting the German team will continue to give their best fight for the last few remaining rounds: “I think it’s very likely that we’ll continue in a very similar way so far this season. It’s extremely tight, extremely competitive and extremely hard racing as well,” says Gass.

“Fights are the only way to move forward. I’m expecting the championship is going to be open until the very last round with a grand and interesting final.”

With four podiums to their name so far this season, the team has showcased good consistency in performance throughout the season, but qualifying has not always been on their side: “Clearly we would like to see more race victories,” says Gass, “But we need to accept that the system with qualifying is done in a way to avoid exactly that and we accept that.”

“The biggest challenge I would say is to maximise the result in qualifying.”

“Obviously, it’s part of the game and part of the show. I think if I step back and take my Audi glasses off and put my Formula E glasses on, I think it’s OK. It’s the right way to achieve what they [Formula E] want to achieve, which is very close competition.

“The biggest challenge I would say is to maximise the result in qualifying,” he explains. “That is obviously extremely difficult because we only have this one lap and then in the different conditions, depending on in which group you are in. So, it’s very difficult but that also makes it even more important and that’s the absolute key.”

Looking ahead to season six, it’s interesting to note that a unique trait of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team is their decision to keep the same driver line-up since season one with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt.

“So far we haven’t really finally decided but there is a good possibility that we’ll carry on with the same drivers next season,” says Gass, “As usual once we have made a final decision on that we will comment then.”

Preparations for season six has already gone underway for the team as they recently tested their season six car: “It was a positive test. Which is obviously very important for when you put the car down for the very first time, but obviously it’s too early to say and to judge the performance level, but so far it’s a good test to the car, it has been running reliably and we could do a lot of work.

“I think a step from season five to season six would be much more about the detail development and detail improvement rather than expecting this big step. This is how I currently see it, it is all going to be about maximising every little detail.”

About Noor Amylia Hilda
Noor Amylia Hilda is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur with bylines in titles such as Women's Health, Esquire and ELLE. She is also a freelance motorsport journalist covering the FIA Formula E championship and Formula 1.