Audi to lose key Formula E engineer after 2017/18 season starts

One of the Audi Sport Abt Formula E team's key engineering members, who is also Lucas di Grassi's race engineer, will leave after the start of the 2017/18 season

Audi to lose key Formula E engineer after 2017/18 season starts

Franco Chiocchetti has been with Abt since 2001 and worked with the team in DTM and GT racing prior to its move into FE, where he acted as technical director and di Grassi's race engineer.

He helped di Grassi claim his first FE title in 2016/17, and with Audi making the entry a fully-works programme for 2017/18 was moved into a head of track operations role.

Chiocchetti is expected to remain part of the team for at least the Hong Kong opener.

Autosport understands the team has identified his replacement from those already "fully involved" in the FE project.

A spokesperson for Abt thanked Chiocchetti "for all he has done as an Abt team member and wish him all the best for new challenges in the future".

Though Abt ran di Grassi to the 2016/17 drivers' title it was still outgunned by Renault e.dams in the teams' championship, and has not produced the best powertrain in either of FE's two seasons of open-technological competition.

But after a significant increase in resource following Audi's takeover of the entry, the team looked the most impressive in pre-season testing.

The shock testing verdict Formula E will hope is wrong

As a mainstay of the Abt engineering team from the beginning in FE, Chiocchetti had been one of the key figures during the off-season transition to full Audi status.

"The thing we noticed the most is the amount of manpower that is now involved, and also their know-how," he told Autosport at the official launch of the team at the end of September.

"I wouldn't say it's excessive but compared to what we had at Abt it's a big step forward.

"We started at Abt basically at grassroots and the Audi guys have so much knowledge.

"It's been quite a good mixture, we've had the experience of the series, they've had the knowledge of the powertrains.

"It's been quite an interesting mix because the best technical solution is not always the best in FE.

"You need to find a happy medium and this is where we as a team were important in the development role, to guide them in the direction we believe is the right thing for Formula E."

shares
comments
Renault e.dams completely restructured Formula E testing team

Previous article

Renault e.dams completely restructured Formula E testing team

Next article

Ex-F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi to make Formula E debut in Hong Kong

Ex-F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi to make Formula E debut in Hong Kong
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