Rast feels "40 to 50%" of Audi Formula E potential after first test

Two-time DTM champion Rene Rast says he has felt "40 to 50%" of the Audi Formula E car's potential after completing his first test for the team

Rast feels "40 to 50%" of Audi Formula E potential after first test

Rast has a deal for the final six races of the 2019-20 season - all at the Tempelhof Airport venue in Berlin - to replace Daniel Abt, who was sacked by Audi but has since been signed as a temporary replacement for Ma Qinghua at NIO 333.

The 33-year-old German will eventually complete two days of testing aboard the Audi e-tron FE06 alongside team-mate Lucas di Grassi at the Lausitzring.

His first run in the car came on Wednesday, focusing on adapting back to single-seaters and data analysis.

PLUS: Why Audi's newest FE driver is almost a risk-free bet

A second outing on Friday was split into tyre and energy management sessions, plus qualifying runs.

"It was a very steep learning curve - I have never been in a new Gen2 Formula E car before," Rast said during a press conference with select media, including Autosport.

"There is a lot to learn and I felt like 40 to 50% of what the whole thing still has to give.

"There's still a lot of potential and many things for me to get my head into and to extract more.

"[On Wednesday] I went to my laptop, really analysing every little detail of my driving, and really try to get my driving as close to Lucas's driving style.

"I think I achieved that as good as I could."

Rast made a one-off FE appearance for Team Aguri on the Berlin street circuit in 2016 to stand-in for Antonio Felix da Costa, who was tied with DTM commitments.

He qualified 13th, ahead of team-mate Ma by 0.5s, but retired after sustaining damage in an early collision with Bruno Senna - marking his first single-seater race since a part-season in German Formula BMW in 2004.

Rast added: "I definitely can take something from the old experience.

"I remember in 2016 in Berlin, I had a bit of a shock driving the car for the first time and this shock I did not have this time.

"This feeling of not having an engine and only the wind noise and hearing basically every little crack in the car.

"You hear so many details, which you don't hear in a normal race car because the engine is just overruling everything.

"So this I could take away but in general, the cars are completely different."

Rast also reckoned he would not be helped as a series newcomer by the teams and drivers not yet having received the three different track layouts for Berlin.

"I hope that we will get the layouts rather sooner than later," he said.

"People with experience, they might still have a big advantage, not knowing the track, because I need to freestyle probably a lot more."

He will continue his preparation in the Audi team simulator ahead of the first of three Berlin double-headers on 5/6 August.

shares
comments
Why Formula E's feel-good comeback story has no bitterness
Previous article

Why Formula E's feel-good comeback story has no bitterness

Next article

What's new in Formula E ahead of its return?

What's new in Formula E ahead of its return?
Load comments
Eight things to watch in Formula E's 2022 season Plus

Eight things to watch in Formula E's 2022 season

In the final season of Formula E's outgoing Gen-2 car and reigning champion team Mercedes, famous and infamous rookies, a dose of qualifying meritocracy, new cities and under-pressure Porsche will be sure to keep things interesting as the 2022 season kicks off in Saudi Arabia this weekend

Formula E
Jan 27, 2022
Why Vandoorne is poised to deliver Mercedes a perfect Formula E sign-off Plus

Why Vandoorne is poised to deliver Mercedes a perfect Formula E sign-off

As Mercedes embarks on its last Formula E season this weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne is targeting a title that has so far proved elusive in his time with the team he joined for its soft launch as HWA in 2018. After team-mate Nyck de Vries won last year, the Belgian is confident of writing the perfect final chapter to his electric story with the manufacturer

Formula E
Jan 27, 2022
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Plus

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Plus

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Plus

Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 6, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Plus

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-2022 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams Plus

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021