ABT CUPRA Formula E Team replacement driver Kelvin van der Linde is incredibly excited to be making his ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Debut this weekend at the Diriyah E-Prixwith the South African being called up to replace the injured Robin Frijns.
Van der Linde will likely be back for several rounds following the injury to Frijns as the Dutchman underwent wrist and hand surgery after a crash at the season-opening race in Mexico City. The South African was given full responsibility as van der Linde would indeed become his country’s first Formula E driver.
The Diriyah E-Prix is an incredibly challenging place to make your debut as the track is one of the most unforgiving on the calendar. The South African believes he prepared for the double header “as best he could” after reviewing all the data collected from the season opener. Most importantly, he’s looking forward to driving the ‘very special’ Gen3 cars, a privilege he’s yet to have.
“I’ve never driven the new car and I’ve only heard that it’s supposed to be something very special. I tried to prepare as best I could: physically, by analyzing all the data and of course in the simulator. The engineers and Nico (Müller) support me a lot. I want to finish and help the team to further develop our project.”
“We found some good approaches” in Mexico City – Nico Mueller
On the other side of the ABT Cupra Garage, Nico Mueller will be hoping for a few better races Riyadh Street Circuit when he had her Autodromo Hermanos Rodraguezwhere he crossed the finish line in fourteenth place.
The start of the season was a challenge both for the returnee Müller and for ABT, as the competition should already be immense. worrying, Luke of Grassi was the only Mahindra-powered driver to finish in the points, with ABT of course being a customer side of the Indian manufacturer.
However, Diriyah offers the Swiss driver a fresh opportunity to continue moving up the field, with the double header also being a great opportunity to gain ‘a lot more driving time’ behind the wheel of the M9Electro. This weekend’s venue is a “very challenging track,” but Mueller hopes the team can use what they learned in Mexico City to their advantage.
“A very demanding track: fluid, fast, but narrow and narrow. Even though we didn’t score any points in Mexico, the practice sessions and the race were important for our entire team. We found some good approaches that we want to build on in Diriyah. Two full days of racing means a lot of driving time and further valuable experience.”