Audi is focusing on its future commitment in the world's first racing series for fully electric race cars. Audi will increase its involvement in Formula E Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport starting in the 2016/2017 season opening in Hong Kong on 9 October. Audi have also planned to incorporate Formula E into a factory-backed motorsport program as of the 2017/2018 season.
“Electric mobility is one of the key topics in our industry,” says Dr Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, AUDI AG. “We intend to evolve into one of the leading premium car 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 programme and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich commented: “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 created motorsport history by becoming the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI and a hybrid race car. Now we intend to replicate this success in fully electric racing. Formula E is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport represents a logical partner for us.”
Audi Sport has been working with the team since the inaugural 2014/2015 Formula E season, particularly the team's Brazilian racing driver Lucas di Grassi, who has working in close co-operation with Audi Sport in the development of the team's Formula E car. The team have also been given the opportunity to use Audi Sport's infrastructure in Neuburg. Starting in the 2016/2017 seasons, Audi is going to further enhance the existing partnership with Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport by providing additional financial and technical support. For the 2017/2018 season Audi will continue to work towards a fully-fledged factory commitment with the intention of working side by side with technology partner Schaeffler.
The four rings will feature prominently on the side and rear wings of the ABT Schaeffler FE02, making the partnership visible to the fans. This new livery will feature on the fully electric single-seater race cars for the first time between 5-7 September at Donington park in the UK where the final tests will be held before the Formula E season starts in Hong Kong.
The current 2016/2017 Formula E season calendar features 12 races in 10 international cities. on June 10 2017, the electric racing series will visit Berlin while the two final races will be held in New York on 29-30 July 2017.
Danie Abt (Germany and Lucas di Grassi (Brazil), the drivers of Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport, are entering their third Formula E season as teammates. Di Grassi finished third in the drivers’ classification in the inaugural season and came second in the 2015/2016 season, narrowly missing out on the championship title.
FIA Formula E 2016/2017 calendar
|9 October 2016||Hong Kong (CN)|
|12 November 2016||Marrakesh (MA)|
|18 February 2017||Buenos Aires (AR)|
|1 April 2017||Mexico City (MEX)|
|13 May 2017||Monaco (MC)|
|20 May 2017||Paris (F)|
|10 June 2017||Berlin (D)|
|1 July 2017||Brussels (B)|
|15 July 2017||Montreal (CD)|
|16 July 2017||Montreal (CD)|
|29 July 2017||New York (USA)|
|20 July 2017||New York (USA)|