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Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt clinched positions two and four for Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in the first Formula E race in Rome.

17 Apr 2018 | International News : Italy

Following a less than perfect qualifying, the two Audi drivers had to settle for grid positions six and nine on the new race track. After a small mistake on his timed lap, Lucas di Grassi just barely missed the 'Super Pole' of the five fastest. Daniel Abt did not get his tires to work optimally in qualifying.

Audi drivers thrill crowd with fightbacks in season's first European race
However, both Audi drivers were convinced that they had fast cars for what has been the longest race of the current Formula E season to date.

In front of a crowd of some 30,000 enthusiastic fans and the eyes of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, they impressively proved that they did.

Abt and di Grassi skillfully saved energy in the first half of the race, so being able to drive one more lap than most of their competitors.

Following the pit stops, both recovered a deficit to the front runners of more than 10 seconds, battling their way forward position by position with spectacular overtaking maneuvers.

Shortly before the end of the race, di Grassi even caught up with race leader Sam Bird and fought a fierce battle for victory with the Briton which in the end he missed by only 0.97 seconds.

"I'm overjoyed to have clinched a podium for Audi in the successful Formula E premiere in Rome," said di Grassi. "After the start, I was only in eighth position, so second in the end is simply fantastic. It was an outstanding race that I'm very happy with. Thank you to Audi and everyone who voted for me in the FanBoost, which helped me to overtake Sebastien Buemi today."
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