In the 2021 season, Formula E will be held as an official FIA World Championship for the first time. For Audi, the commitment in the fully electric racing series is not just a sporting competition on the highest international level, but also perfectly supports the brand’s transformation towards sustainable and digital premium mobility.
“Motorsport has always been of decisive importance for Audi and its technology development. That is also where our most famous slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ comes from,” says Allan McNish. As Team Principal of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, he is responsible for the Audi brand’s Formula E commitment. “Looking at rallying, touring cars, Le Mans or now Formula E, we have always linked the relevance of the technology transfer from motorsport to the road,” says the three-time Le Mans winner.
At the end of 2017, Audi was the first German automobile manufacturer to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment. By winning the teams’ classification and finishing runner-up in the drivers’ championship in its first season (2017/2018), Audi managed a dream start to the company’s all-electric motorsport era. Following second place in the teams’ classification and third in the drivers’ championship in the fifth season, the squad finished the sixth season, which was shortened due to the corona pandemic, in sixth place in the standings.
The Formula E commitment with the Audi e-tron FE07 is a perfect fit for Audi’s “Roadmap E” for the road: By 2025, the brand is planning the market launch of more than 30 electrified models. It began in 2018 with the all-electric Audi e-tron, followed by the Sportback version and, at the beginning of the new 2021 season, by its spectacular sporty counterpart, the e-tron GT. McNish: “Competition on the race track to accelerate development for customers, this combination is firmly anchored in Audi’s DNA.”
With twelve teams, 24 drivers and a total of ten manufacturers, including the four German premium brands with Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes, Formula E is entering its first season as an official FIA World Championship. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has reorganized itself for the World Championship debut and, after six years, changed its driver pairing for the first time: Lucas di Grassi, the most successful Formula E driver in terms of points and podium finishes, will be joined on the grid by three-time DTM champion René Rast.
For the development and fielding of the e-tron FE07, Audi relies on consistency and trustful collaboration with a proven track record of many years. The powertrain with its centerpiece, the Audi MGU05 motor-generator unit, was developed at Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau. Trackside preparation and fielding will be handled by ABT Sportsline. The squad based in Kempten was successful in Formula E as a privateer team from 2014 to 2017 and subsequently handed their slot on the grid over to Audi.
Since 2018, Audi Sport has also been working closely with the British Envision Virgin Racing team in Formula E. As was the case in the past two years, the customer team is fielding two additional Audi e-tron FE07 cars for its drivers Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy.