Audi comes into the European season just one point off Mahindra Racing and Envision Virgin Racing in the teams’ championship, and the German manufactuer aims to reclaim top spot by the chequered flag in Rome.
Team Principal Allan McNish feels that the championship is currently at a pivotal point as the European season gets underway.
“The race in Rome marks the beginning of the ‘hot phase’ in the championship because the upcoming four races will be taking place in compact two-week intervals and could be decisive for the outcome of the title race,” says McNish.
“Last season, we had a strong race with Daniel Abt and Lucas Di Grassi finished in the top four. The circuit has unique characteristics and is a true challenge: a fast first section with a small jump and an extremely narrow and difficult final part, so finding a good setup will be very tricky.”
Lucas Di Grassi looked set to be a real title contender coming into the Italian race, but a last-lap incident with Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns, which caused the Brazilian retirement leaving him 10-points behind Antonio Felix Da Costa.
“The season is now entering an exciting stage: everyone is very close together, so it’s all the more important to consistently score points from now on in order to stay in contention. The track is an extremely challenging one and even has a jump. So finding the correct balance will be crucial towards getting a good result,” said Di Grassi.
Abt is one of only two drivers in the field of twenty-two entrants to have scored points in all six races held so far and the German is hoping to build on that in Rome.
“Obviously, I’d like to continue this streak and preferably clinch a trophy again,” says Abt. “The championship is now picking up momentum and is beginning to be really exciting. We are in a good position and want to build on that now.”