Lucas di Grassi delivered Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler its first podium since Diriyah on home soil in Berlin, pushing the Brazilian on to second spot in the Drivers' standings in the process.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has historically enjoyed its visits to Berlin and the Tempelhof Airport Circuit, with two race wins - including one last season - and now seven trips to the podium in total in the German capital since Formula E's inaugural 2014/15 campaign.
The first double header of the unprecedented nine-day six-race season finale yielded more joy with the outfit displaying its strongest pace since the second round back in Saudi Arabia in November.
Di Grassi was able to slice through the field after qualifying a disappointing 21st ahead of Round 6 - eventually winding up eighth. Rene Rast, meanwhile, on his Audi Formula E debut, impressed with a points finish and tenth.
Round 7 brought about that seventh podium for the team on home turf, with di Grassi utilising all of his experience to fend off a queue of cars eyeing third spot.
The wily Brazilian placed his e-tron FE06 in all the right places to keep third and get his hands on silverware and the Moet & Chandon champagne.
Rast, once again, will be encouraged with his drive from the back of the pack, even though he wasn't able to secure points in the second race of the Reverse Berlin Tempelhof Circuit double-header - finishing a creditable 13th.
"When you’re on the podium in Formula E, it's a good day,” said di Grassi. “We worked hard and improved the car a lot overnight. Nevertheless, Round 7 was hard work once again.
"We’ll continue to work in order to extract even more performance from of the car. We are driving the other way around in Berlin from Saturday onwards, which should also suit us.”
On his second race day, Rast had a similar mishap as di Grassi on Wednesday. “I took a bit too much of a risk in qualifying,” he said. “While braking for the first turn, the right front wheel locked. As a result, I completely missed the apex of the corner and qualified last.”
Rast started from the pit-lane and made up ten positions in the race. In the end, the German missed out on scoring points by only 1.7 seconds - with more valuable Formula E experience now in the bank.
“Overall, I’m very satisfied with how the team reacted after the difficult first day,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “We improved considerably compared to Wednesday.
"Lucas was extremely strong and showed the fighting spirit he’s known for. He is now second in the Drivers’ Championship. It’s a shame that Rene was unlucky in qualifying, otherwise he would have scored more points.”
Di Grassi's deficit to standings leader Antonio Felix da Costa (DS Techeetah) is a significant one, at 68 points, but his consistency and propensity for a late-season charge in Formula E means the Portuguese will have to look over his shoulder to the end.
When the pressure’s on, di Grassi comes into his own.
Published on 7th August 2020