Audi will soon be joining the list of manufacturers, such as Jaguar and Renault, to have a Formula E team. The German marque has recently completed their works status by finalizing the takeover of the Abt Schaeffler team. With the current season still on-going, the Abt group will continue to use the same name. Beginning next season however, the team will run under the Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler banner.
“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,” said Dr. Peter Martens, an Audi board member.
Following the takeover, Audi will be the first German automobile manufacturer to join the all-electric series. Audi previously had a partnership deal with the Abt team, but has been increasing their involvement with the group until the recent takeover. Following the takeover, the Abt team will still remain active and will handle tasks such as maintenance of the racecars. Audi meanwhile will be handling the technical development.
“We’re proud that as one of the founding members we’ve added a chapter to motorsport’s history books. 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,” said Hans-Jurgen Abt, Abt team owner.
The Abt team is known for winning the first ever Formula E race back in 2014 with driver Lucas di Grassi. Since then, they have come close to winning two titles, but have always evaded them. This season, the team is currently running 2nd in the constructor’s championship, with di Grassi currently in 2nd place in overall driver standings. Beginning next season, it is believed di Grassi will retain his seat. His teammate, Daniel Abt’s seat is still unknown, but is said to likely be extended.
Season 4 of Formula E takes place in Hong Kong on December 4, where we will see Audi’s debut in the all-electric series.