Audi Look to The Future In Formula E and DTM

by Jean-Paul Hackett
Audi e-tron FE05, Audi RS 5 DTM

2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for Audi Motorsport as it announces its continued involvement in both the DTM and Formula E series.

Audi is not alone, with BMW also continuing their involvement in DTM, as well as increasing their participation and development in the world’s premier e-racing series. Mercedes-Benz made the tough decision to quit the DTM at the end of this season to focus on their 2020 entry into Formula E.

In the 2017/2018 season, Audi was the first German automobile manufacturer on the Formula E grid and came at the expense of the company’s LMP1 program.

At the end of the 2016 season, the company confirmed that all 300 employees of its Audi Sport motorsport arm working on the LMP project would be retained, but their focus would switch to Formula E.

Having scored four victories and a total of eleven podiums after twelve races around the globe, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler claimed the teams’ championship.

Maisach (GER), 10th April 2018. BMW iFE.18, Roll-out, test, shakedown, BMW i, ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Tom Blomqvist.

Credit: BMW

BMW has been busy developing the all-new BMW iFE.18. The car is equipped with a drivetrain developed solely by BMW and will compete in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Season 5 next year when BMW joins the first series for fully-electric racing cars as an official manufacturer.

Mercedes-Benz will be entering the championship for Season 6. Two all-electric racing cars from the new Mercedes EQ Formula E Team will join the series for the start of the 2019/20 season.

The heart of their new car will be developed at Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains (HPP) in the UK. The Mercedes EQ Formula E Team plans to call on the proven expertise of HWA AG in Affalterbach for its trackside race operations.

DTM, 2018, Norisring. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team, DTM, Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM    DTM, 2018, Norisring. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team, DTM, Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

Credit: Mercedes-AMG

HWA has traditionally been responsible for design, development and operations of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM cars. The record books show that HWA is the most successful team in DTM history with ten drivers’, 13 team and six constructors’ titles.

Next year, the DTM will see one of the most radical changes in its more than 30-year-history.

In 2019, modern four-cylinder turbo engines will be introduced. The new “Class-One” category will be joined by the Japanese Super GT class; the new regulations will make it possible to field the cars in both championships.

It provides the basis for joint races to be held for the first time and increased internationalisation. Following Mercedes-Benz’ exit, a minimum of three brands being represented from 2020 on will be the prerequisite for Audi’s continuing DTM commitment.

“In Formula E, we’re demonstrating Vorsprung durch Technik in e-mobility,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, Audi AG. “At the same time, we continue to develop our internal combustion engines further. Four-cylinder turbo units with two litres of displacement provide a good mix of performance and efficiency. They are the most important engines worldwide and will be used in Class One starting in 2019. As a result, the DTM, just like Formula E, will receive an increased reference to product development.”

So, things are looking good for Formula E as it continues to attract some of the world’s leading motor manufacturers. There is now a definite push for cleaner, environmentally friendly racing cars.

The DTM organisers have begun the process of introducing new classes to their series in the hopes that they can remain attractive enough to keep Audi involved for years to come.

We will, of course, keep you entirely up to date with both series’ as they move into new territory.

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