BMW has confirmed that they are working in Formula E with the Andretti team.
For several months it had been an open secret that the German car giant had been assisting Andretti by providing technical expertise, but they had previously refused to admit any involvement.
They have decided to formalise their arrangement however, and say they will ‘work closely’ with the American squad going forward.
The deal has also involved BMW driver Antonio Felix da Costa being allowed to drive for the team, after he announced at the weekend that he would be leaving DTM to focus on Formula E.
Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, said that Formula E fits in closely with the company’s future product development, saying, “Everyone knows that BMW and motorsport are intrinsically linked.”
“The commitments allow us to demonstrate our expertise in the areas of technology and integration on international platforms, including the world’s leading racing series for electric mobility.”
“Electric mobility will continue to grow in importance. In the last 10 years, we have established a leading position in the automobile industry in this field with BMW i.”
“Through our partnership with Andretti Formula E in the FIA Formula E Championship, we will now additionally see a close interaction between motor racing and production development in our company, from which both departments will benefit.”
BMW also confirmed that they are weighing up entering a works outfit in future years.
Their partnership with Andretti is set to run for two years, after which the German manufacturer will look to enter their own team in season five provided that the conditions and circumstances are right.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said that key to this future commitment is the increase in battery capacity, which would allow teams to run just one car per race.
“Over the coming years, the cooperation with Andretti Formula E will primarily focus on familiarising ourselves with the procedures and processes, and on intensifying our knowledge,” he said.
“Our works driver António Félix da Costa will be in action behind the wheel.”
“A works involvement is then conceivable as of the series’ fifth season. The premise for all these steps is the further positive development of the series, which includes increasing the capacity of the batteries, for example.”
The announcement is just another in a series of commitments from major manufacturers in the series.
Audi recently announced an increase in financial and technical support for Abt Schaeffler Audi, Citroen are entering the second year of their partnership with DS Virgin Racing, and the new Jaguar team are set to debut in Hong Kong next month