Rene Rast has been given a permanent drive at Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for the 2020-21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
The German filled in at the team at the six-race season finale in Berlin at the end of last season, after the team parted company with Daniel Abt for arranging a ringer to take part in the official virtual ePrix in his place.
Rast impressed the team during his brief stint – quickly getting up to speed of team-mate di Grassi and finishing third and fourth in the last two races.
Since then Rast has been impressing in the DTM series racing for Audi Sport Team Rosberg, with four straight wins leaving him on the verge of retaining the title.
Speaking about his switch to racing in Formula E full-time, Rast said that his experience of all-electric racing in Berlin had left him wanting more.
“The races in Berlin have definitely whetted my appetite for more, so I’m now looking forward to my first full season in Formula E,” says Rast.
“Starting in this world championship for Audi is the next exciting chapter in my career and I am really looking forward to it.”
For di Grassi, next season will mark his seventh with the team.
But the 2020-21 season was disappointing for the Brazilian, marking the first time he had gone a season without a race win, and seeing him finish outside of the top three for the first time.
But despite this he was confident ahead of the new season, and was excited with the series now being classified as a world championship by the FIA.
“I have experienced everything in these six years: great successes, defeats, insane emotions,” di Grassi said. “And the best is yet to come, because the start-up from back then is now turning into an FIA World Championship,”
“Together with Audi and René, I will give everything in 2021 to have a say in the fight for the world championship title.”
Speaking about the new driver line-up, Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass said it was Rast’s determination in DTM, and his impressive showing in Berlin, that had convinced them to promote him to a full-time drive.
Gass said, “With his impressive performances in Berlin, René proved that he feels comfortable in Formula E and at the same time is also fast and successful. He has absolutely earned his place in our Formula E team.
“For me, it was extremely important to have two drivers who push each other to peak performance. With Lucas and René, we have succeeded in doing this brilliantly.
“Lucas is the most successful driver in the field and extremely hungry to win his second title. René has already left an impressive mark in Berlin. We are enjoying his determination year after year in the DTM. I am already looking forward to experiencing it in Formula E.”