Audi has signed on with the Formula E racing series for electric cars, becoming the first German maker to commit fully to the series when it begins fielding a factory team at the start of 2017/2018 season in December 2017.
Although the company has been supporting the series since its inception in 2014, it has expanded its involvement over the subsequent years and has now announced it has taken over ABT Sportline and will be full factory support behind Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the series’ fourth season, starting Dec. 2 in Hong Kong.
“We’ve been supporting the Formula E commitment with increasing intensity in recent months – on race days, in the development of the new powertrain and in numerous off-track activities as well,” said 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.”
“Formula E delivers spectacular motorsport in the hearts of fascinating cities and is a tremendous stage to present electric mobility and motorsport in their most emotive forms,” added Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “We’re currently seeing an extremely exciting season with a gripping title race. I’m happy that now everything has been put on track for a successful future too.”
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, as it’s been known to date, with its drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi has won five times in the series’ 29 races to date, and captured 23 podiums. It is currently runner-up in the 2016/2017 championship.
“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,” says team owner Hans-Jürgen Abt. “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.”