Audi Sport quits Formula E this weekend
One of the founding teams of Formula E, Audi Sport ABT, will quit the series this weekend in Berlin, leaving the championship after 84 races and seven years since the inaugural championship race was held.
Intense preparation by Lucas di Grassi and René Rast in the simulator at Neuburg, Berlin, is currently taking place, setting up the garage at the former Tempelhof Airport for the last time, two final starting grids and the very last checkered flag at just before 4.30 p.m. on Sunday.
As a founding member of the series, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will say goodbye to Formula E after 84 races as it turns its attention to focus on the Dakar Rally series.
Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for motorsport, said: “Audi was the first German manufacturer to compete in Formula E. In recent years, the series has accompanied our brand in its transformation to electric mobility and provided us with many unforgettable moments that will forever remain a part of our history.
He added: “It’s time for us to take the next step in motorsport. The Dakar Rally offers us the opportunity to break new ground as a pioneer and to present and further develop our expertise in the field of electric mobility under extreme conditions.”
Di Grassi makes an emotional tribute to Formula E
The championship-winning Audi Schaeffler squad have been a regular front-runner in Formula E since claiming victory in the very first race back in Beijing, 2014.
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has already won 46 trophies in Formula E. In the first three years as the private team ABT Sportsline with the support of the technology company Schaeffler, then since 2017 as official Audi factory team. It is the best mark in the series, which will remain unmatched even after the end of the season. Just like that of the most fastest laps by a team or the most podium positions by a driver by Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian is one of only two drivers on the grid to have contested all Formula E races so far, and the only one to have done so for the same team: Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.
The team gained full Audi manufacturer support ahead of the 2017/18 season, when racing legend Allan McNish took over as team principal.
For Season 7, the team has poured everything into going out on a high, with an all-new in-house designed-and-built powertrain ready to take it to the most competitive line-up in the series’ history.
Audi Sport has competed in everything from the World Rally Championship and Pikes Peak, to Super Touring, DTM, World Endurance, GT racing, Formula E and soon, Dakar Rally.