Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has shown off the new e-tron FE05 challenger is will use to defend its Teams’ Championship title in the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship season.
The German factory team will field an unchanged driving line-up of Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt for the 2018-19 season, with the pair piloting the all-new Gen2 chassis in the all-electric championship.
The e-tron FE05 is lighter and faster than its predecessor, with less than five per cent of its parts carried over from the FE04 design. While widely considered to be one of the most energy efficient powertrains in the field last season, the FE04 suffered early-season reliability problems that cost di Grassi a shot at defending his 2016-17 Drivers’ Championship title.
Once the gremlins were fixed, di Grassi comfortably outscored every other driver in the latter half of the season and never finished lower than second over the final seven races. The Brazilian’s form, in particular, helped the team sneak over the line to claim the Teams’ Championship title by two points over rival outfit Techeetah.
This year’s e-tron FE05 has completed an extensive private testing programme and will make its first public track appearance during the official 2018-19 pre-season test at Valencia’s Circuito Ricardo Tormo on October 16-19.
Audi will also supply its FE05 powertrain to the rival Virgin Racing team, which will run as a customer team for the first time in its history after partnering with Citroën / DS Automobiles, who since opted to shift their factory support to Techeetah.
Virgin Racing will confirm its driving line-up on October 5 when it unveils its car and livery scheme. The Audi-backed Robin Frijns is expected to be confirmed alongside Virgin Racing stalwart Sam Bird for the forthcoming season.
Image via Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler