ABT CUPRA has experienced a turbulent and at times chaotic race in Formula E’s comeback in the United States: while Nico Müller had to end the race in Portland early after a violent impact through no fault of his own, teammate Robin Frijns scored another point for the newly formed team’s account. With two so-called doubleheaders in Rome and London in the next four weeks, the ninth season of the World Championship is now heading into the home stretch.
« Our team once again worked with concentration and flawlessly here in Portland, but unfortunately was hardly rewarded for its great effort, » says Team Principal Thomas Biermaier. In free practice and qualifying, Frijns and Müller always finished around the top ten, proving once again that ABT CUPRA has established itself in the secure midfield in the second half of its comeback season. « On tracks where energy management and different strategies shape the race, things are usually chaotic. Looking at Nico’s accident and what might have been possible given our performance, Robin’s point is cold comfort. »
Robin Frijns drove a strong lap in qualifying and started from ninth place. In the race, the Dutchman stayed out of all the scuffles, was even in third place at times and was classified in tenth place at the finish. After Saturday’s race in Jakarta and pole position in Berlin, this is already the third time he has scored points this season. « We tried to make the best of all situations with our efficiency and performance capabilities, » says Frijns. « In a strategic race like this, you always have to be in the right place at the right time and at the same time pay tremendous attention. We succeeded in that today, at least to some extent. »
It was a race to forget for Nico Müller, who missed the duel stage in qualifying by just a tenth of a second. In the race, he damaged his front wing early on while trying to avoid an accident. Then, on the tenth lap, part of the wing apparently got under the front tires and the car slammed violently into the guard rails at high speed. Müller was uninjured but was robbed of the chance of another good result. « We had a strong performance all weekend, but all that remains is a lot of damage to the car and a lot of work for the guys. Without this incident we would have had a good chance for points as well. »