Allan McNish: Racing history will help Audi Formula E boss role

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish believes his new role as team principal of the Audi Formula E squad will be similar to his experience as a driver

Allan McNish: Racing history will help Audi Formula E boss role

McNish stopped racing at the end of 2013 after a professional career that included Le Mans wins with Porsche and Audi and a season in Formula 1 with Toyota.

He was retained by Audi Sport and Audi AG in an ambassadorial role, extending a relationship that first began in McNish's American Le Mans Series title-winning season in 2000.

McNish, who has since worked on Audi's group motorsport coordination, was officially unveiled as team principal of its new works FE entry on Wednesday.

"It's quite cool considering Audi thinks you're the right man for the job - that's a nice thought," he told Autosport.

"It's racing with a group of people you like and trust.

"I don't think it's too different to being a driver in some ways.

"You've got to find a direction to go in, bang your fists on the table, accept you didn't do it correctly.

"You're trying to pull people along and find the way to go.

"Being a racing driver gives you a rounded understanding, it's not a bad education [for this]."

In McNish's role as team principal he will be Audi's official figurehead at FE events, take responsibility for the overall operation at the track and communicate on the team's behalf with the FIA and the series.

McNish spent last season as a special advisor to Audi looking at how to integrate it into its roster of factory programmes.

"It's been an evolution since we went to the first test last year," he explained.

"Formula E is going to take a lot of focus from Audi. Partly because it's now integrated, but also the development of the road car side.

"That's going to be quite an enjoyable part of it - I've experienced that on the racing side, how it all fits together."

Sources within the team have suggested McNish was extremely effective last season acting as a middle man between drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt and the engineering staff.

McNish said: "Drivers run on emotion, they run on seat-of-the-pants feel, engineers principally run on numbers.

"Sometimes there's a disconnect.

"I've been around motorsport a long time.

"I know the ups and downs. I enjoy working with the drivers, that's what I know and they probably make more of a difference in Formula E than other categories.

"To maximise that is quite important."

shares
comments
Di Grassi reveals long Audi Formula E deal and past Renault talks
Previous article

Di Grassi reveals long Audi Formula E deal and past Renault talks

Next article

Ex-F1 driver Rio Haryanto to drive Formula E car in pre-season test

Ex-F1 driver Rio Haryanto to drive Formula E car in pre-season test
Load comments
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning Plus

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep its original missionary winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Plus

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021
The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion Plus

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass

Formula E
Aug 17, 2021
How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms Plus

How de Vries claimed Formula E title glory as Mercedes exit bombshell looms

As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes

Formula E
Aug 16, 2021