Audi plans to enter a factory team in the fourth season of the Formula E championship
After having supported the ABT Schaeffler team in the first two seasons of Formula E, Audi has announced its intention of increasing its commitment to the all-electric racing series. This will happen in two ways. The first step is that the company plans on increasing its involvement in the operations of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team for the third season of Formula E - that is the 2016-2017 season that will begin at Hong Kong this October. Audi also plans an assault on the 2017-2018 season of the sport with a factory-backed team.
According to Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, Audi AG, this move is being made because "By 2025, every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle." He went on to say "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."
What exactly does the increased commitment mean in terms of the 2016-2017 season though? Well, for the third season of Formula E, Audi will extend financial and technical support to the ABT Schaeffler team. Audi Sport will also be involved in the development of the car, a step that will help towards a factory-backed team for the 2017-2018 season.
Piloting the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Formula E cars for the upcoming season of the series are Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi, who will play a key role in shaping the team's car for the future.
Speaking of the move being made by Audi,Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich said, Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With quattro drive we revolutionised 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, so writing motorsport history 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."