Audi To Focus on Formula E, Drops DTM
German automobile brand Audi announced that they they will focus in the Formula E Racing series, making it the centerpiece of their motorsport campaign.
Starting next year, the four rings will be involved in the Formula E, reflecting their intention to have around 40 percent of its sales volume worldwide be comprised of electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025.
Audi is a pioneer in top-level, electric-driven motor sports, having participated in Formula E ever since the popular fully electric racing series started in 2014.
The brand already bagged 41 trophies under Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, making it the most successful Formula E team over the years.
Meanwhile, Audi’s future racetrack activities will no longer include the brand’s participation in DTM, Germany’s touring car championship series in which Audi was a fixture from 1990 to 1992, and from 2000 onwards.
Audi looks back on an extremely successful past in DTM, having scored to date 23 championship titles, 11 driver titles, 114 victories, 345 podium finishes, 106 pole positions and 112 fastest laps in the series. By clinching three of three possible championship titles, numerous podiums and many other records last year, 2019 has so far been the most successful DTM season in Audi’s history.
“Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi. This demonstrates what power lies in motor sport—technologically and emotionally,” said Markus Duesmann, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
“With this energy, we’re going to drive our transformation into a provider of sporty, sustainable electric mobility forward. That’s why we’re also focusing our efforts on the racetrack and systematically competing for tomorrow’s ‘Vorsprung.’ Formula E offers a very attractive platform for this. To complement it, we’re investigating other progressive motor sport formats for the future.”
Besides the brand’s focus on electromobility, Audi AG’s management board also cited the economic challenges brought about by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as part of the reason for Audi’s DTM exit.
Still, Audi intends to continue its successes in DTM in the 2020 season, hoping to bid farewell to DTM fans with a successful title defense in the series’ all three championships this year.
“We’re hoping that this currently difficult situation will improve soon and that we’ll still be able to contest a few DTM races this year,” said Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, member of the Board for Development at Audi AG.
“The fans would deserve this, and so do our drivers, teams and partners who will now have adequate advance notice to reposition themselves for the time after 2020. Successful motor sport is—and will continue to be—an important element of Audi’s DNA.”
Earlier, FIA president Jean Todt said that they should now focus on the survival of motorsports during this crisis.
According to Todt, manufacturers do not prioritize motorsport, so "we must be humble" and listen to everybody."
Many manufacturers are now shifting their focus in the motorsports—some of them, going wheel-to-wheel in the digital world.
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