Allan McNish: “To je neverjetna pot”

Pred dvema letoma in pol smo pri Audiju oblikovali tovarniško ekipo formule E, za vodjo pa imenovali Allana McNisha. 50-letnega Škota smo vprašali, kakšne so bile njegove prve izkušnje in izzivi z električnim motošportom, kakšne želje ima za prihodnost, kaj pogreša in zakaj je serija dirkalnikov na električni pogon Audiju tako pisana na kožo.

11.06.2020 Avtor: Audi Team  Fotografije: Arhiv Audi

Allan McNish

Začnimo z najpomembnejšim vprašanjem v teh dneh: Kako ste in kako zdaj z družino preživljate čas?

Dobro smo, hvala. Razmere pa so, tako kot za vse, zelo nadrealistične. Otroci se šolajo doma, naša 11-letnica se je učila matematiko in počutil sem se, kot da bi se tudi sam vrnil v šolo. Za prvo domačo nalogo smo morali izračunati obseg kroga s pomočjo števila pi, kar je na srečo nekoliko povezano z vozno višino avtomobila. Na teraso smo prinesli pnevmatiko in izmerili njen polmer ter razdaljo, ki jo prevozi v enem vrtljaju. Poleg reševanja takšnih izzivov, ki so v kontekstu širše slike seveda majhni, veliko časa preživimo v čakanju in pripravah na povratek na delo.

Zdaj se lahko malce ozremo v preteklost: za vodjo ekipe ste bili imenovani septembra 2017. Kako ste do sedaj doživljali to pot?

Ta pot je bila zelo zanimiva in zahtevna, bilo je veliko vzponov, pa seveda tudi nekaj padcev. Zdi se mi bolj kot dva tedna in pol, ne dve leti in pol. A po drugi strani se je v tem času zgodilo veliko stvari: z Audijem smo vstopili na prvenstvo, osvojili naslov ekipnega prvaka, prešli na avtomobil Gen2, sedaj pa načrtujemo Gen2 EVO ter celo Gen3 za deveto sezono. Dela je ogromno, a vse večja konkurenca nas ohranja mlade in gibčne.

“Kot mlad voznik slediš samo svojemu cilju, pri tem pa imaš samo eno priložnost. Kot vodja pa moraš imeti v mislih celotno ekipo, kar pomeni dva voznika in dve priložnosti.”

Je odgovornost, ki jo imate kot vodja tako velike skupine, bolj zahtevna kot služba dirkača formule 1?

Ne bi rekel, da je bolj zahtevna, je pa zahtevna na drugačen način. Ko voziš na dirkah, kot je Le Mans, čutiš največji pritisk, to lahko rečem. Da lahko dirkaš na tej ravni, moraš delati 24 ur na dan in 365 dni na leto. Kot vodja ekipe ne potrebujem takšne kondicije, napor je nekoliko drugačen, občutek odgovornosti pa je večji. Poleg dveh voznikov ekipo sestavlja še kup drugih ljudi, vse pa je treba na dirkališču in doma nenehno vzpodbujati in jim ne dovoliti, da bi zaspali na lovorikah.

 

Je to glavna razlika med tema dvema vlogama?

Kot mlad voznik slediš samo svojemu cilju, pri tem pa imaš samo eno priložnost. Kot vodja pa moraš imeti v mislih celotno ekipo, kar pomeni dva voznika in dve priložnosti. To pa s seboj potegne druge izzive, še posebej z dvema voznikoma, kot sta Daniel (Abt) in Lucas (di Grassi), ki sta si sicer zelo različna, a imata oba močna značaja.

Kaj vam je do sedaj predstavljalo največji izziv?

Na neki način je bil zame največji izziv zapustiti kabino. Ponavadi se držim načela, da ko enkrat zaprem vrata, ta ostanejo zaprta in grem naprej. A moram priznati, da dirkač ostane za vedno dirkač in nagonsko na vse gleda iz tega zornega kota, zato mi to predstavlja velik izziv. Ko med dirko Formule E gledam posnetke iz kabine, jo zagotovo doživljam skupaj z Danielom in Lucasom, ki sta za volanom: naredi to, naredi tisto – tako rad bi imel nadzor, ampak ga preprosto nimam. Na srečo imamo dva dobra fanta in se lahko med dirko malo sprostim.

Allan McNish s scojo Audi Formula E ekipo na dirkalni stezi.

Je torej nadzor tisto, kar najbolj pogrešate sedaj, ko niste več dirkač?

Ne. Najbolj pogrešam občutek zmagoslavja na stopničkah s šampanjcem. Pa ne zaradi stopničk ali šampanjca, temveč zaradi poti, ki te tja pripelje, in zaradi čiste sreče v vseh očeh, ko domov prineseš pokal. Na srečo smo tudi kot ekipa to zmagoslavje že večkrat doživeli, na primer z Davidom v Mehiki in obema našima fantoma v Berlinu. Občutek, ko praznuješ skupaj z vsemi, ki so k temu pripomogli, je neverjeten – ne glede na to, ali si voznik ali vodja ekipe.

Nimate le nove vloge, povsem nov je tudi način dirkanja. Ste se že privadili na električno dirkanje?

Ko sem bil še dirkač, nikoli nisem zares gledal v vzvratno ogledalo, in še zdaj menim, da oziranje nazaj ne pomaga prav dosti. Že od nekdaj so me zanimale nove tehnologije in nove reči, ki bi mi lahko pomagale zmagovati na dirkah. Torej, kar zadeva električne avtomobile: da, seveda gre za nov avtomobil, nov dirkaški slog in nova orodja, a koncept ostaja enak – če hočeš zmagati, moraš premagati vse druge tekmovalce.

Se spominjate svoje prve izkušnje s formulo E?

Vsekakor se dobro spominjam smešnega trenutka, ko sem se kot gost udeležil svoje prve dirke v tretji sezoni v Hong Kongu. V gostinskem šotoru sem pil čaj in skoraj zamudil celotni trening, ker nisem slišal avtomobilov. A od takrat se je bilo precej enostavno privaditi na formulo E.

On board with Angus

“The aeronautical-inspired seatsfeature netting that adjusts to each passenger’s shape.”

Nicolas Bussetti, Designer, Italdesign

The concept certainly appears cool and suitably futuristic, both from outside and inside the ultra-minimalist cabin. My details and my ‘journey’ have already been pre-registered on an app on my smartphone and, as I settle into the seat, I’m recognised and welcomed aboard by PIA, my speaking Personal Intelligent Assistant. The seats certainly feel comfortable, and, currently, there’s sufficient space behind them to hold a couple of small bags, although it’s possible the flying taxi will be smaller in size when it reaches production. The ‘dashboard’ in front of me is one large screen that incorporates augmented-reality technology and enables me to highlight icons simply by moving my eyes


By pressing on a small touchpad mounted between the seats, I can then choose the ambient-lighting theme I desire, and the type of music I wish to listen to through the speakers built into the headrests. Naturally, there is plenty of glass area to provide occupants with a fine view as they soar over the city, although the floor below my feet is not transparent – and deliberately so, as Nicolas points out: ‘We wanted to create an open environment that enables passengers to enjoy the experience, but we also wanted to ensure they felt safe and weren’t frightened.’

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Allan McNish med pogovorom s Audi Le Mans voznikov

Se vam je kakšen dogodek iz teh dveh let in pol še posebej vtisnil v spomin?

Zdaj najbrž pričakujete, da bom govoril o kateri od naših zmag, a mi je najljubši nek drug dogodek, ki je slab dan spremenil v nekaj posebnega. Nikoli ne bom pozabil, kako je po Danielovi nesreči v Mehiki celotna ekipa stopila skupaj. Fantje so v rekordnem času zamenjali podvozje in akumulator, opravili tehnični pregled in nato v teku potiskali avto iz boksa, da bi ga pravočasno pripeljali v parc fermé – vse to, da bi se Daniel vseeno lahko uvrstil na tekmi. V teh skoraj treh urah so vsi lahko videli strast in predanost, ki sta značilni za našo ekipo.

One of the big problems we’ll have is acceptance.

Massimo Martinotti, head of mobility solutions, Italdesign

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The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

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The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

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“Avtomotošport je velik del Audijeve DNK še od časov Auto Uniona, in tako bo tudi naprej”

Zakaj je formula E Audiju tako pisana na kožo?

Ker se natančno ujema s tem, kar počnemo na cestah. Avtomotošport je velik del Audijeve DNK še od časov Auto Uniona, in tako bo tudi naprej, saj Audi vedno sodeluje v dirkalnih kategorijah, ki omogočajo prenos dirkalnih tehnologij na cesto. Če se ozrete nazaj na poletje naše četrte sezone: osvojili smo naslov ekipnega prvaka v New Yorku, dva meseca kasneje pa smo v San Franciscu na ceste pripeljali prvi popolnoma električni Audi. Formula E se prilega zgodbam, ki jih pripovedujemo, pa tudi tehnologijam, ki jih razvijamo.

Kako bi opisali pot in uspeh formule E do sedaj?

To je neverjetna pot. Ko sem se leta 2013 kot dirkač upokojil, so me vprašali, ali bi me zanimalo dirkanje v formuli E. Poleg dejstva, da je bila moja odločitev dokončna, sem bil malce skeptičen, saj sem videl veliko novih prvenstev, ki so hitro ugasnila. A takrat še nisem poznal dinamične, startupovske miselnosti fantov iz formule E. Njihovo spopadanje z zahtevami proizvajalcev in zahtevnimi pogoji za dirkanje po mestnih središčih je vredno občudovanja. Hkrati pa jim uspeva sestaviti tako močno dirkaško zasedbo. Še nekaj morate vedeti: mi nismo uveljavljena dirkalna kategorija z desetletji zgodovine, kot so nekatere druge, s katerimi nas včasih primerjajo. Smo kot šestletni otrok, ki je pravkar začel hoditi v šolo. Zanimivo bo videti, kako se bo razvijala naša ekipa, hkrati z njo pa tudi Audi.

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The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

1920x2500-mobil-e-mobility-blue-sky-thinking-036

The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

1920x2500-mobil-e-mobility-blue-sky-thinking-036

The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

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Allan McNish s enim od voznkov Audi Formula E.
Audi Formula E dirkalnik

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2020-01-AudiLab_newsletter_01
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