Formula E 2018/19: Audi keeps Abt in line-up alongside di Grassi

Audi will retain its current driver line-up of Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi when the Gen2 era of Formula E commences in 2018/19

Formula E 2018/19: Audi keeps Abt in line-up alongside di Grassi

The duo have competed for the squad since FE's inaugural season, when it was known as Audi Sport Abt, before it became a full works entry.

That takeover was completed ahead of the current campaign, with Abt staying alongside long-term factory Audi driver di Grassi.

Following his Berlin win last time out - where he took also took pole and set the fastest lap - Abt explained that he still did not have a contract in place for season five.

After reading Abt's comments, Audi confirmed that it would be exercising its option to retain the 25-year-old, who also won in Mexico City and lost a victory in Hong Kong for a technical passport infringement earlier this season, and di Grassi ahead of this weekend's Zurich race.

"[Staying at Audi] was my ideal plan - and with this season and especially also with the last race that helped to convince people," Abt told Autosport. "I'm very happy.

"For [Audi] it was maybe more clear what they wanted for next season than for me, but I just said 'as long as things are not outspoken and not written I cannot speak about season five if I don't have it 100% confirmed'.

"Maybe you guys [the media] helped a bit - in the end it was OK. We've talked about it and it's all done now.

"They came to me because they read the articles and said 'look Daniel, for us we thought it was more or less that you will stay with us' and I said 'OK, maybe for you, [but] not so much for me' and then we just worked and now it's all sorted."

Team principal Allan McNish announced the news at the pre-event press conference in Zurich.

When asked by Autosport if the decision-making process over Abt's deal was already in motion before his Berlin victory he replied: "It was in process, it was always part of the plan.

"It's not necessarily something that was defined by his Berlin performance - but his Berlin performance cemented everything on it and it seemed appropriate that with the questions that came out after Berlin that we should put that to bed going forward.

"Just to make sure that everybody was clear and he didn't have any unnecessary questions, because we need him to focus on winning Zurich and New York.

Di Grassi also offered his congratulations to his team-mate.

"Daniel was very underestimated in the first few seasons - but he learned a lot," the reigning FE champion said.

"He really adapted to Formula E, he's a strong driver now and it's more than deserved for him to stay for season five.

"I have a long term contract with Audi - I love the team, I've been there since 2012 in LMP1 - so me it's great, and for me it's great that Daniel is also there."

Find out how you can follow the 2018 Zurich E-Prix here

shares
comments
Formula E 'would love' F1's Fernando Alonso to race in the series

Previous article

Formula E 'would love' F1's Fernando Alonso to race in the series

Next article

Massa: Formula E competition attractive compared to other series

Massa: Formula E competition attractive compared to other series
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Daniel Abt
Teams Team Abt
Author Alex Kalinauckas
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
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

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
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