Audi is strengthening its future commitment to the first global racing series for clean electrically powered cars. From the 2016/2017 season, Audi will be intensifying its involvement with Formula E team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport. In addition, it is planned to expand the commitment into a factory-backed motorsport program for the 2017/2018 Formula E season.
“Electric mobility is one of the key topics in our field,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We intend to evolve into one of the leading premium manufacturers in this field. By 2025, every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle. The first model for this is planned to be an SUV we’re going to present in 2018. In the light of these plans, adapting our motorsport program and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With quattro drive we revolutionized rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI and a hybrid race car and made motorsport history with them on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.”
Audi Sport has been giving its name to the team ever since the inaugural 2014/15 Formula E season and in the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi making one of its factory drivers available in the course of this cooperation. In addition, the team has been able to use Audi Sport’s infrastructure in Neuburg. Starting in the 2016/2017 season, Audi is going to intensify the existing partnership with Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport by financial and technical support. For the 2017/2018 season, on the road toward a full-fledged factory commitment, Audi Sport is going to join the development step by step in close cooperation with technology partner Schaeffler.
Audi’s commitment to Formula E will be visible for the fans as well. Effective immediately, the four rings will be prominently featured on the sides and on the rear wings of the ABT Schaeffler FE02.
The Formula E calendar features twelve races in ten international city centers. On June 10, 2017, the electric racing series will visit Berlin. Both final races will be held in Montreal (CDN) on July 29/30, 2017. On July 15/16, for the first time, two races will take place in New York City (USA).
Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s drivers are Daniel Abt (Germany) and Lucas di Grassi (Brazil), who are tackling their third Formula E season together. In the inaugural season, di Grassi was third in the drivers’ standings and, as-runner up, narrowly missed out on the title in the 2015/2016 season.