Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Allan McNish reflects on some of the lessons learned from season five that could be taken into the new season.
Speaking after the second day of official pre-season testing in Valencia, McNish explains one strategy that the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team is looking into is to target any weak areas that have arose in the previous season: “In terms of that, we’re looking at the areas where we were competitive last year and some of the circuits where we were less so.”
“We have improved but until we get to a race, I can’t tell you definitely because the proof is always in the result. Even if we’ve improved on something, all these other can improve as well then we’re on the same point so we’ve got to make sure that we’re there.”
The first round of season six will take place in Saudi Arabia in less than one month, last year’s Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which took place in December, proved to be a tricky one with raging downpours.
“I don’t think we were as prepared as we could have been,” says McNish of last season’s Ad Diriyah race. “Just to ensure when we go to Riyadh this year we are as prepared as we can be but it’s never as prepared as you want to be.”
Although, McNish admits that he’s not looking into adopting a new approach for the new season but rather looking at how the team can progress, “In terms of the testing here, there’s always the big question that Valencia is not like a street circuit, so where is the relevance in what we do here,” he explains.
“Which is also a positive in some ways but it is also a risk in others, something that maybe works on here might not translate at a street circuit, but you always want to run on all the days you can and run all the kilometres you can here. You have to be quite selective in what you do and what you take away from it. But it’s all experience, so even though it’s not a Formula E circuit, but it’s still a Formula E car.”
The German team have gone through private testing throughout the off-season in several locations including Calafat and Mallorca in Spain where McNish explains they have managed to get the base understanding of the car: “Fundamentally from the chassis point is the same as last year, but from our e-tron point, then it’s an evolution from last year.
“So, the core understanding is still the same, but we’ve evolved from what we’ve learned or what we could do through the season. There’s definitely improvements on systems and software and those are areas where we can still develop more here leading up to Riyadh, but it’s not a complete change of philosophy, it’s an evolution.”