Kelvin van der Linde thanks ABT CUPRA for their ‘trust and patience’ following single-seater debut

Kelvin van der Linde was arguably one of the unsung stars of the show at last weekend’s Diriyah E-Prix double-header, with the South African having made not only his debut in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship but in single-seater racing altogether.

It’s remarkable to think that van der Linde has never raced in a single-seater before; however, that’s the situation he found himself in ahead of the weekend at the Riyadh Street Circuit. Whilst he spent the entirety of the weekend effectively at the back of the field, his times consistently improved throughout the weekend, thanks to the ABT CUPRA Formula E Team having put their “trust” in the DTM driver.

After qualifying nineteenth for Race One, van der Linde finished his first-ever single-seater race in sixteenth, two-places better than he managed in Race Two. The South African is set to feature again at the Hyderabad E-Prix in place of Robin Frijns, who is set to be out injured for the vast majority of the season.

Reflecting on his debut, van der Linde thanked the entire team and left Saudi Arabia with some confidence, that he “can build” on what he learnt in India.

“I would like to thank the whole team for their trust and patience. Even if we don’t see any countable results, we have created a good basis for our next race weekend on which we can build.”

“I feel particularly sorry” – Nico Mueller

On the other side of the ABT Cupra garage, Nico Mueller‘s difficult start to his returning season in the all-electric series continued, after several highly disappointing sessions.

As it stands, the pace simply isn’t there for the Swiss driver, with the team continuing to experience several issues with their Mahindra powertrains.

Mueller started the first race of the weekend from twenty-first after being forced to miss qualifying, with his car having been damaged following a brush with a wall during Free Practice Two. He went on to retire from Race One with the car having more damage than previously believed, with the thirty-year-old having complained of strange noises coming from his car. Day Two wasn’t really any better, with Mueller having qualified last before crashing at Turn Eighteen during the race, summarising his weekend.

Following his incident, Mueller felt “sorry” for his two errors, with the team having lost out on valuable track time as a result, with the season looking set to get no easier for the Swiss driver.

“I feel particularly sorry for the two slip-ups for the guys who worked so hard. And of course the missing laps also hurt us.”

Credit: ABT CUPRA Formula E Team