Audi as the manufacturer and entrant, Schaeffler as the technology partner in the development of the powertrain ABT Sportsline as the seasoned and successful fielding team – this is the lineup which Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is entering the fourth Formula E season with.
“Never change a winning team,” is a frequently quoted rule in high-performance sport. On officially entering Formula E as a factory team, Audi is taking this maxim quite literally and, together with Schaeffler and ABT Sportsline, continues to form a trio that looks back on a successful history in the still young racing series.
Audi has been giving its name to the team ever since Formula E’s inaugural season and in the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi been providing one of its factory drivers. In addition, the Allgäu-based team was able to use the infrastructure of the Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg. For the 2016/2017 season, Audi intensified the partnership through financial and technical support. Now that the brand is taking over the team’s slot on the FE grid, the final step towards a full-fledged factory-backed commitment has been made.
Schaeffler has been involved in Formula E from day one. Since the 2015/2016 season, together with ABT Sportsline, the technology company has been designing, developing and building the powertrain for the only German Formula E car in the international field. With Audi’s factory-backed entry, Schaeffler and the premium brand have signed a three-year technology cooperation agreement up to and including the 2019/2020 season. It encompasses the joint work on the electric motor, transmission, suspension, and power electronics for the powertrain.
The responsibility for the racing commitments will pass to Audi as of the 2017/2018 season while operational fielding of the four race cars for Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi will remain in the proven hands of ABT Sportsline. The squad based in Kempten has been one of the most successful race teams for several years, both nationally and internationally. In 2014, ABT ventured to enter the electric racing series as a privateer team and has since taken third place once and second place twice in the teams’ classification. In a parallel commitment, the squad as Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is competing in the DTM with two Audi RS 5 DTM cars.