Turn 6 Attack Zone caused Berlin E-Prix midfield stalemate - Daniel Abt
Daniel Abt has said that Attack Mode at the Berlin E-Prix caused a stalemate in the race's midfield fight, with the German driver struggling to fight through the pack at his home race.
The Attack Zone at the Flughafen Tempelhof Circuit was situated around the outside of Turn 6, arguably marking the most aggressive on-track zone of the season and ultimately, causing the greatest time loss.
With a projected time loss of 1.4s, the arming and deployment of Attack Mode to attain a four-minute 250kW power boost would be the equivalent of losing four positions in the midfield and throughout the grid, this was the case, with drivers sacrificing on-track position to arm the device.
Starting from sixth for his home race, Abt took the chequered flag in the same position, unable to make any inroads into the top five despite running inside the lead group of drivers in the early stages of the 45-minute + 1 lap affair:
"I think I had a good first quarter of the race," Abt told Motorsport Week. "I made up some places. I was in fourth I think and felt quite strong and then we kind of all went into a rhythm.
"I was in the middle," he explained. "I had two guys in front of me and two guys behind me which then means that with Attack Mode, you’re a bit stuck with what you can do so I couldn’t really make a move.
"I had to react to Antonio [Felix da Costa] and Alex [Lynn] activating [Attack Mode] and I lost a position. Then it was very close with [Stoffel] Vandoorne because he reacted on me and then there was a touch.
"I had bent steering afterwards. It was just a bit unfortunate with Attack Mode but that’s how it is."
While Lucas di Grassi stormed to victory for the second time this season, the Berlin E-Prix marked a closely contested fight, with only 0.666s separating second and third-placed finishers Sebastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne while only 0.706s covered fourth-sixth.
Reflecting on these fine margins, Abt explained that the result reflects the close nature of the all-electric single-seater series, with drivers needing to negotiate the unpredictable nature of luck to truly succeed:
"It’s super close!" he added. "You need to get everything right but you also need a bit of luck with the timing of stuff.
"The race was maybe not the best for that but still it was a good job, some good points and we can see that it’s just up and down every weekend. We have three to go and we need to go for it.”
WIth Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler taking a double points finish in Berlin, the team has overtaken Envision Virgin Racing to move into second in the Teams' Championship with 163 points, 25 points behind leaders DS Techeetah.