Ex-Audi Formula E driver Abt gets lifeline with NIO 333 squad, replacing Ma for Berlin

Former Audi driver Daniel Abt has been signed by the NIO 333 team to replace Ma Qinghua for the six remaining races of the 2019-20 Formula E season

Ex-Audi Formula E driver Abt gets lifeline with NIO 333 squad, replacing Ma for Berlin

Two-time E-Prix winner Abt was suspended by Audi last month after he used a sim racer to take his place in the FE Race at Home Challenge Esports competition.

He confirmed his permanent departure in an apology video uploaded to his YouTube channel before Audi then promoted double DTM champion Rene Rast to its FE team.

But Abt will now continue in the series to deputise for Ma, who is unable to travel to the three double-header events in Berlin owing to European and domestic Chinese travel restrictions.

Abt said: "I always loved racing and Formula E, therefore the opportunity to race in the final six races, my home races, and continue my record of competing in every single Formula E race is very exciting.

"I have been working with a leading manufacturer for the last three years, therefore, I have a lot of experience and input for the team.

"I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver [Turvey, NIO 333 team-mate]."

Members of the Lisheng Racing-owned NIO 333 team who are based in Shanghai will also be absent for the nine-day programme at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin - where Abt won in 2018, and site of the virtual race where he used an Esports doppelganger.

Although Ma is expected to continue at the team for the 2020-21 season, Abt's recall will mean he maintains his place alongside former team-mate Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird as having started every one of the 63 races in FE history.

A statement from NIO 333 read: "The team made this decision with careful consideration and have inquired with key figures of the Formula E paddock."

Vincent Wang, the NIO 333 team CEO, added: "When the possibility of signing Daniel for the Berlin finale was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect.

"As the saying goes in the eastern world, 'a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold', but the controversies surrounding him during the Race at Home Challenge reached quite a high level and will bring two opposite opinions.

"In the end, after discussing with some key figures of the paddock, we have decided to give Daniel an opportunity to return to Formula E.

"We welcome him with open arms into the team, we hope the home hero will redouble our efforts to finish this extraordinary season in style!"

Mahindra also announced last week that it had signed former Jaguar and DS Virgin driver Alex Lynn to replace Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the season.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Wehrlein revealed his immediate exit from the team via a brief social media post, and is expected to take Neel Jani's seat at Porsche for the 2020-21 season.

shares
comments
Reduction in team personnel at events and tyre usage among Formula E cost-saving measures
Previous article

Reduction in team personnel at events and tyre usage among Formula E cost-saving measures

Next article

Why Formula E's feel-good comeback story has no bitterness

Why Formula E's feel-good comeback story has no bitterness
Load comments
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams Plus

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two Formula E teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Plus

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself Plus

How Formula E's polarising newcomer can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race-winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Plus

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Plus

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Plus

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Plus

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Plus

How Mercedes and De Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021