BMW considering Andretti customer powertrain deal after Formula E exit

BMW is in discussions to continue to supply the Andretti team with powertrains after the manufacturer's exit from Formula E at the end of the 2020-21 season

BMW considering Andretti customer powertrain deal after Formula E exit

The German marque announced it would be leaving the championship on Wednesday evening, having "essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E", according to a statement.

This news came only two days after Audi officially communicated its decision to quit FE in favour of an LMDh programme and an all-electric Dakar Rally entry in 2022.

The factory BMW FE team is run by Andretti Autosport, which has been in FE since the inaugural 2014-15 season - latterly receiving technical support from BMW before gaining full works status.

BMW's exit would leave Andretti without a powertrain supplier as it stands for the 2021-22 season should the American squad remain in the championship. However, BMW is considering a customer deal to continue to provide Andretti.

A BMW spokesperson told Autosport: "We are discussing options for season eight [2022-23].

"One option is to supply Andretti with BMW drivetrains. We will communicate any decision in due course."

Such a deal is already in place between Audi and its customer team Envision Virgin Racing, which will provide the Silverstone-based privateer outfit with powertrains for at least one more season.

When asked if the global health crisis and its economic repercussions has expediated BMW's decision to leave FE, Autosport was told: "2020 has accelerated the transformation in the automotive industry, and thus also in motorsport.

"The strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility.

"After developing the know-how, the focus in the future will be on the comprehensive scaling of the range of models and global production."

Expanding on the manufacturer's reason for quitting, the BMW spokesperson added: "Electromobility is the new normal for BMW Group.

"Formula E has always also been a technology lab for us.

"We achieved a technology cycle between production and motorsport for the electric drivetrain, from which both sides have benefitted.

"We have now virtually exhausted this development potential in terms of technology and know-how.

"We are now focusing on large-scale production with the fifth generation of BMW e-drivetrain."

For the second year in succession, BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Guenther topped the three-day pre-season test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia earlier this week.

The two-time E-Prix winner has been partnered with former Aston Martin DTM driver Jake Dennis for the coming campaign following Alexander Sims' move to Mahindra Racing.

FE rookie Dennis won the seat against DTM competition from Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Lucas Auer after extensive simulator and private testing runs.

New Audi signing Rene Rast, a three-time DTM champion, has revealed he did not know he was effectively signing up for a one-year deal to race in FE.

Meanwhile, team-mate and 2016-17 FE title winner Lucas di Grassi has told Autosport of his desire to continue in the series beyond Audi's departure.

shares
comments
Mercedes: Formula E must "learn lessons" after Audi, BMW exits

Previous article

Mercedes: Formula E must "learn lessons" after Audi, BMW exits

Next article

Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E

Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Marco Andretti
Author Matt Kew
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Plus

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
How Andretti is planning for life after BMW Plus

How Andretti is planning for life after BMW

Michael Andretti's team is a Formula E ever-present and that's not about to change despite BMW's forthcoming exit. But, with both its drivers contracted to the German giant and McLaren weighing up a possible entry, some key decisions lie ahead

Formula E
Feb 26, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Plus

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021
Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test Plus

Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

As off-track politics threatens to overshadow events on it, the upcoming Formula E season is perhaps its most important since the championship's inception. And that's a shame, given that the focus should be on what promises to be its closest title fight yet

Formula E
Feb 24, 2021
How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album Plus

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

DS Techeetah remains FE's benchmark outfit, but it can expect a stiff challenge this year from two German automotive giants in their second seasons as full manufacturer entries. Here's how Mercedes and Porsche are doubling down to bridge the gap

Formula E
Feb 17, 2021
The magnificent seven Brits fighting for FE bragging rights Plus

The magnificent seven Brits fighting for FE bragging rights

A record seven British drivers will contest Formula E this season, including two squads with all-British lineups. But before they can consider challenging DS Techeetah for the crown, each must lead their teams' recovery to the top

Formula E
Feb 15, 2021