Gunther switches to BMW for 2019-20

by Scott Douglas

Maximillian Gunther had been confirmed as a BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver for the 2019-20 Formula E season.

The German had taken part in testing for the team in recent weeks as they evaluated him ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa’s expected move to DS Techeetah.

His performances clearly impressed the German-marque, along with a strong performance in his debut season in the sport for Dragon Racing.

Despite the Dragon car being far from competitive, Gunther managed to drag it to two fifth place finishes, and in doing so he comfortably outscored his experienced team-mate Jose Maria Lopez.

The move to BMW marks a step-up for Gunther, and BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said they were looking to welcoming him back into the fold after he began his career in the Formula BMW Talent Cup.

“I am looking forward to Maximilian Günther returning to the BMW family,” said Marquardt. “We followed his performance last season very closely.

“Maximilian regularly managed to get the maximum out of his car package. That saw him achieve some impressive results. Having a driver with a history of BMW single-seater racing is a great fit.”

Gunther himself said he was delighted with the switch, and said he was equally impressed with BMW’s debut season.

He said, “It is fantastic to be part of BMW i Motorsport now. BMW i Andretti Motorsport had a strong maiden season in Formula E, won the very first race and was involved in the fight for the title down to the wire.

“That is why this switch is definitely a fantastic step for me. It is great to compete for BMW again. That’s where everything started for me in single-seater racing in 2011.”

For the outgoing da Costa it marks the end of his association with BMW that dates back to his debut in DTM for them back in 2014.

He is widely expected to replace Andre Lotterer at the reigning champions Techeetah for next season, but said that he looked back on his time at BMW with fondness.

“I have always been happy and proud to be part of the BMW family,” da Costa said. “BMW Motorsport gave me the opportunity to drive many different race cars, and to learn an incredible amount.

“I would also like to thank BMW i Andretti Motorsport for a great and intense time together in Formula E. Although I am now moving on to face new challenges, I will always look back fondly on my time at BMW.”

The future of his team-mate from last season, Alexander Sims, still remains in the balance after the team failed to confirm who their second driver would be.

Instead they said that they would make an announcement in the coming weeks before official testing starts.

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