Formula E : ABT CUPRA ready for two night races in front of a historic backdrop

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship goes from strength to strength: After only one weekend break, ABT CUPRA with Nico Müller and Lucas di Grassi will compete in Diriyah on Friday and Saturday (January 26 and 27). The two events in the suburbs of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh are the only night races on the calendar and will be accompanied by top-class concerts on the huge stage in the fan village.

After zero points at the season opener in Mexico City, Müller and di Grassi will be looking to score their first points of the new season. With twelfth place in the first qualifying of the year, ABT CUPRA has shown its potential. The team from Kempten now wants to continue this trend on the 2.495-kilometer floodlit circuit through the historic scenery of Diriyah.

Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO and Team Principal: « Take the positive things with us »
« There were some bright spots at the season opener, so we will take the positive things from Mexico with us to Saudi Arabia. The engineers have done their homework and worked hard in the simulator with Nico and Lucas. Our goal is to score our first points in Diriyah. To achieve this, we need not only our own performance but also a bit more racing luck than last time, so hopefully no technical problems or collisions. »

Lucas di Grassi, #11: « Season restarts in Diriyah »
« Saturday in Mexico wasn’t our day, but we’ve put that behind us and the season starts again for us in Diriyah. Two races under floodlights, a very fast track, plus enthusiastic fans again and lots of action for the spectators to enjoy – this will be the next highlight on the calendar. Everyone in the team has been working hard to ensure that we are perfectly prepared and come back stronger in Saudi Arabia. »

Nico Müller, #51: « Constantly high adrenaline levels »
« The circuit is a flagship of Formula E if you ask the drivers. The layout keeps the adrenaline level constantly high and mistakes are not forgiven. What’s more, the races are held under floodlights in the dark, which is an added attraction for drivers and spectators. My races there have always been black or white, good or bad: in the seventh season I was in the Super Pole, last year I was further back – so this year it should be better again. »

Interview with Nico Müller
With a little distance – what do you think of the season opener in Mexico?
« A great event. The Mexican fans outdid themselves with their atmosphere and support for us drivers. From a sporting point of view, it was a difficult day for us because we couldn’t convert our good qualifying into a decent race result – our team would have deserved that after all the hard work over the past few months. »

What do the two weeks between Mexico and Riyadh look like for a racing driver?
« There is not much left of the two weeks. I was at home briefly after the return trip, then it was back to the simulator in Kempten, where we not only prepare for Diriyah, but also work on some things from Mexico. Since the next race is already on Friday, we’ll arrive a day early – there’s no chance of getting bored. »

It will be the only night races on the calendar – what makes it so special for a racing driver?
« Night races are always special: in the dark, you feel like you’re going even faster, which gives you an extra adrenaline rush. All this on one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar – a cool challenge that everyone looks forward to. »

Did you know that …
… the races in Diriyah take place on Friday and Saturday? This is unique on the Formula E calendar.
… they are also the only two night races of the season?
… energy-saving LED technology is used for the track lighting?
… At-Turaif is the most important district of Diriyah and is one of five Saudi sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List?
… one of the largest flags in the country flies over the racetrack? The pole is 104 metres high and the national flag measures 600 square metres.
… the Zero Summit, initiated by Lucas di Grassi, takes place in Riyadh on the Thursday of the race week?
… Lucas di Grassi has set up a professional studio at his home in Monaco to record pre- and post-race coverage of the Formula E races for his social media channels?
… Nico Müller and Lucas di Grassi will be signing autographs in the pit lane on Friday and Saturday from 17:30 onwards?
… the Backstreet Boys will be on stage in Diriyah on Saturday evening after the race?
… reserve driver Kelvin van der Linde will also be in Diriyah?
… Lucas di Grassi has been on the podium twice in Diriyah?