It was only a matter of time before the Formula E Drivers’ Club had its ranks filled, before the first of the ten teams announced its driver line-up for the inaugural championship that starts this September in Beijing. ABT Sportsline, run by DTM maestro, Hans-Jürgen Abt, announced that Hillmer Motorsport GP2 driver, Daniel Abt and current Audi factory WEC driver and former Formula E development driver, Lucas di Grassi, will be lining up in their cars.
Daniel may be Hans-Jürgen’s son, but he was one of the first drivers to apply for a race seat, showing an interest in what this new series will bring to the masses: “I was really thrilled with the ideas of Formula E from the very beginning and obviously even more about ABT Sportsline competing with a team of their own.”
The 21-year-old, who finished runner-up in GP3 in 2012, is also currently the Abt Lifestyle GmbH Managing Director. He said that being “part of the line-up in the inaugural season is both an honour and a huge challenge.”
Di Grassi, who stepped back from his initial input role in Formula E, is looking forward to driving two cars that will represent a lot when it comes to the way that motorsport is clearly evolving, as well as at such frantic pace: “I’m delighted that Audi is giving me the opportunity to drive in sports car racing as well as in Formula E.
“I’ve been watching ABT Sportsline on track for a long time – a very professional and cool outfit. It’s great that it worked out. We’ve got ambitious plans.”
The former Formula One driver has been one of the drivers that all the teams would love to have amongst their ranks, having being involved from the very beginning, but ABT Sportsline got there first.
Abt himself, whose brother Christian raced for the team that started as an independent outfit in the DTM, said that he had “signed our absolutely ideal pairing.”
The team will also be competing in their home round, which will be held in Berlin in May 2015, as the work continues in Kempten until May this year, where the ten teams will be moving into their new home at the purpose-built facilities at Donington Park.
Sports Director Thomas Biermaier has stated that all the plans that ABT Sportsline are well underway: “The two drivers we’d been wishing to sign are on board and our discussions with partners, sponsors, engineers and mechanics are making very good progress as well.”
The ranks will start to fill up when it comes to just who the teams will select to put their foot to the floor, as the race to get ahead of the pack is getting underway as we speak. Testing will soon get underway, as the final preparations will be fast and furious as Beijing will soon be upon us.