ABT CUPRA celebrates 100th race in Formula E

The start of the tenth season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship this weekend (13 January) is a special day for ABT CUPRA: the team will contest its 100th race in Formula E at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. With returnee Lucas di Grassi and Nico Müller in the cockpits, the team is aiming to build on last year’s positive trend at its anniversary race and establish itself in the midfield.

ABT returned to Formula E in 2023 after a one-year break together with CUPRA and has since competed as a customer team with cars from Mahindra Racing. The E-Prix on the 2.628-kilometre circuit is considered one of the highlights of the calendar due to its stadium-like atmosphere. ABT has already won the race in Mexico City three times with Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt.

Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO and Team Principal: « Hotly anticipating Mexico »
« The start of a new season, with the fantastic fans in Mexico and the 100th race for our team – the anticipation for the new season is great. But the tension is also high: after a year full of challenges, we want to take the next steps in 2024, score points consistently and maybe spring a surprise here and there. Even though the technical conditions are largely the same as last year, we will give it our all. The team has remained almost completely the same and Lucas, a long-time member of our family, has returned – we are all excited about Mexico and the whole season with its old and new venues. »

Lucas di Grassi, #11: « Like rock stars »
« It would be a dream if the season consisted of 17 races in Mexico: No matter if we had to swap cars or make an extra pit stop, if we had an accident or started from the back – we always ended up with a trophy here. A weekend in Mexico is not only different on track, but also in the paddock, where we drivers are treated like rock stars. The fans are more enthusiastic than anywhere else in the world – the perfect place to start the season. »

Nico Müller, #51: « Anticipation and excitement are rising »
« It’s great that it’s finally starting again. I’ve been training hard over the last few months to get fit again after my shoulder injury – I’ve achieved that and even a little more. I’m ready and looking forward to the start of the season. I’ve just been with my team in Kempten to prepare in the simulator and you can see the growing anticipation and excitement among all the engineers and mechanics there as well. »

Interview with Hans-Jürgen Abt, CEO ABT SE
What are your first memories of the start of the Formula E project?
« I still remember some incredulous faces when I came to Kempten over ten years ago with the idea of entering an electric racing series. But as we all got to grips with the challenge, the enthusiasm grew – and it continues to this day. Just like in our day-to-day business, electric mobility has become an integral part of motorsport. »

How do you assess the development of Formula E?
« From a small motorsport start-up that many doubted to a highly professional FIA-rated world championship with a global reputation – hats off to Alejandro Agag and his entire team. We are proud to have been part of the Formula E family for all generations and look forward to many more highlights together. »

Can you name your personal highlight from the 99 races so far?
« Of course, Lucas (di Grassi) winning the title in Montreal in 2017 will never be forgotten, that was an incredible relief and pure joy. But I also have very fond memories of winning the very first race in Beijing, when we suddenly found ourselves on the podium after a chaotic final lap. Or Daniel’s (Abt) and Lucas’ fabulous weekend in Berlin in 2018, where the two of them swept the board. »

Did you know that …
… ABT will compete in its 100th Formula E race in Mexico City?

… this record would have been set at the 2023 season finale, but the team had to skip the season’s fifth race in Cape Town?

… ABT has finished on the podium 47 times in these 99 races – more than any other team?

… the 14 race wins include the triumph in the first race in Formula E history on 13 September 2014 in Beijing?

… ABT’s 19 fastest race laps are also a record in the field?

… … Lucas di Grassi spent Christmas and New Year with his family in Brazil?

… he trained his fitness, strength and reaction time every day?

… DF1 TV station, which was launched on 1 January, is the new home of Formula E in Germany? The channel will broadcast all the races live.

… ServusTV in Austria will also broadcast Formula E live from now on?

… ZF will be a partner of ABT again in 2024? The global technology group is also responsible for the development of the powertrain.

… Lucas di Grassi appeared at five events in his role as UN ambassador during the COP28 World Climate Conference in Dubai?

… Nico Müller’s focus was on getting back to full fitness after his shoulder injury last year – and he has succeeded?

… Kelvin van der Linde will be part of the team again in 2024? The DTM driver from ABT supports the team with the preparations in the simulator and as a reserve driver.

… Lucas di Grassi and Nico Müller spent time preparing for Mexico in the team’s own simulator in Kempten before Christmas and last week?

… the race in Mexico will start at 14.00 local time, which is prime time in Europe on Saturday evening (21.00 CET)?

… … ABT Sporting Director and Swiss by choice Fred Espinos treated the team to cheese fondue for Christmas?

… the Frenchman worked intensively on his German language skills during the holidays?

… Lucas di Grassi presents a completely new helmet design in Mexico, featuring the Brazilian colours?

… ABT CUPRA can look forward to prominent support in Mexico? Dr. Werner Tietz and Markus Haupt from the CUPRA board will be on site.

… ABT has already won four times in Mexico – more than any other team? Three times at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and once in Puebla.

… Nico Müller spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve with his family and his sister, who is visiting from the USA?

… the Swiss also used the break to spend a week exploring his wife’s home country around Leipzig and Berlin?