Formula E

"Got close to the midfield": Nico Müller delivers ABT's most successful weekend since Formula E return

Svenja König

Svenja König


With 5th and 6th place in the double-header in Portland, Nico Müller and his ABT Cupra team had  its most successful weekend since the Formula E comeback. With these two top six results, the team took 18 points from Portland, more than at any other race weekend since its return to the electric series. But also the Indian manufacturing team celebrated a fourth place for Edoardo Mortara.

"The team and drivers worked really well together and gave their all to achieve a good result together - that's exactly how it should be," said ABT Team Principal Thomas Biermaier, praising his team after the most successful race weekend since its return to Formula E. Another strong weekend, in which it looked as if ABT had slowly but surely made its way into the Formula E midfield.

With third place, Lucas di Grassi qualified for the knockout duels for only the second time this season. Nico Müller narrowly missed out in fifth place in Group A, but started the race from seventh place after penalties against his team-mate and his compatriot Sette Camara. From there, he quietly worked his way up the field. By lap 12, he had reached the top positions for the first time. He cleverly stayed in the second row, i.e. in positions 4 to 8, so that he was always in the slipstream of at least one car on the long straights in order to save energy, but at the same time kept up with the leading group. In the end, he benefited from Cassidy's error and the time-penalty against Mitch Evans and finished fifth. His second best result of the season.

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"There might have been more in it"

On Sunday, di Grassi took advantage of the start phase of the race and worked his way up from 19th place into the top 10 within the first five laps, when the pace was still moderate. Müller followed him a few laps later, so that the two of them contested the race together from then on. In the final phase, however, it became increasingly clear that the Brazilian veteran had a significant energy deficit. He gave Müller as much slipstream as he could and then had to drop out of the points in 11th place. A bitter result for the Brazilian, who finished eleventh for the fourth time this season. However, the manoeuvre paid off for Müller: he had another strong sixth place for ABT.

"Those were two very exhausting and wild races here in Portland, in which we were able to score plenty of points this time - thanks to the whole team in the garage," says Nico Müller. "If everything had come together perfectly, we might have been able to do even better on Sunday. But the fact that we are a little annoyed about it also clearly shows how we have grown this season and got closer to the midfield."

It is the fourth top 10 result this season for the Swiss rider - just one less than all the other Mahindra riders put together. As a result, ABT has overtaken Mahindra in the team standings and is now in 9th place, and is currently the only customer team ahead of its manufacturer. This underlines the Kempten-based team's strong upward trend and, in particular, their ability to fight for points and top results in the second half of the season - although a weak start to the season has left them just under 45 points behind the midfield.


Mahindra also with best result of the season: "Every point is hard-fought"

However, the Indian manufacturer was also celebrating this weekend. With fourth place in Saturday's race, Edo Mortara achieved the best result of the season for Mahindra. After a strong qualifying in which he reached the knockout phase and later started the race from 6th on the grid, he managed to keep his front and rear wings out of various collisions as the race progressed and, like Müller directly behind him, benefited from the Jaguar drama. But that mattered little to Mahindra at the end of the day.

"We had a good race today, stayed out of everything in a chaotic race and were rewarded with a lot of points," said Mortara. "It's an important sign for us that we're taking the right steps in the right direction."

"Every point in Formula E is hard-fought and to come away with anything at all from a race as close as today is pretty close to perfect," says Frederic Bertrand, Team Principal of Mahindra. "I'm incredibly proud of what the whole team has achieved today, from the riders, the team and everyone at the base in Banbury. Today we showed what we can achieve when we stick together."

In the second race, the Swiss driver and team-mate de Vries scored no points after numerous contacts and a pit stop. Nevertheless, Mahindra has now also left ERT well behind in the team standings and hopes that this will remain the case in the season finale. This will take place in just over two weeks in London.

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