Having been involved from Formula E’s inaugural season in 2014, Audi has nog formalised a works takeover of the ABT Formula E team. After intensifying the partnership in the form of financial and technical support, it was the final step to become a full-fledged factory team.
“We’ve been supporting the Formula E commitment with increasing intensity in recent months – on the race days, in the development of the new powertrain and in numerous off-track activities as well,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, Audi AG.
“That Audi will be the first German automobile manufacturer to be actively involved in the racing series starting next season is also a clear commitment of our brand to electric mobility, on the race track as of December and next year on the road as well with the new Audi e-tron.”
Audi won’t be the only German car manufacturer in Formula E. BMW is set to take similar steps with the current Andretti team.
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport with its drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi has clinched 23 podium places, including five victories, in the 29 races held to date and is the current runner-up in the championship. “We’re proud that as one of the founding members we’ve added a chapter to motorsport’s history books,” says team owner Hans-Jürgen Abt. “Within the space of just a few years, Formula E has seen such a strong development that a team can no longer be competitive without the backing of an automobile manufacturer. That’s why we’re gladly handing over the reins to Audi – a partner we’ve been successfully cooperating with in motorsport and routine business for many decades. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to continue this success story in Formula E as well.”
Testing season 4 underway
Together with official technology partner Schaeffler Audi is currently in the process of developing the new powertrain to be fielded next season. “We’ve already successfully completed tests with the new components in Spain and in Neuburg and our project is on schedule,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
At the moment, the freedom in Formula E granted to all manufacturers is limited to the motor, transmission, the respective suspension components and to software. “The competitiveness in Formula E between manufacturers, teams and drivers is enormous. That makes details in the development all the more crucial.”
On July 15 and 16, Formula E will be stopping in New York (USA) in front of the Manhattan skyline before the last two rounds of the third season will be held in Montreal (Canada) two weeks later. After eight of twelve races, Lucas di Grassi and ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport are ranked in second place of both the drivers’ and teams’ standings.