BMW could continue to supply Andretti after Formula E exit

BMW is in discussions to continue to supply the Andretti team with powertrains after the manufacturer’s exit from Formula E at the end of the 2020-21 season. 

BMW could continue to supply Andretti after Formula E exit

The German marque announced it would be leaving the championship on Wednesday evening, having “essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E”, according to a statement.  

This news came only two days after Audi officially communicated its decision to quit FE in favour of an LMDh programme and an all-electric Dakar Rally entry in 2022. 

The factory BMW FE team is run by Andretti Autosport, which has been in FE since the inaugural 2014-15 season - latterly receiving technical support from BMW before gaining full works status. 

BMW’s exit would leave Andretti without a powertrain supplier as it stands for the 2021-22 should the American squad remain in the championship. However, BMW is considering a customer deal to continue to provide Andretti. 

A BMW spokesperson told Motorsport.com: “We are discussing options for season eight [2022-23.  

“One option is to supply Andretti with BMW drivetrains. We will communicate any decision in due course.” 

Such a deal is already in place between Audi and its customer team Envision Virgin Racing, which will provide the Silverstone-based privateer outfit with powertrains for at least one more season.  

When asked if the global health crisis and its economic repercussions has expediated BMW’s decision to leave FE, Motorsport.com was told: “2020 has accelerated the transformation in the automotive industry, and thus also in motorsport.  

“The strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility.  

“After developing the know-how, the focus in the future will be on the comprehensive scaling of the range of models and global production.” 

Expanding on the manufacturer’s reason for quitting, the BMW spokesperson added: “Electromobility is the new normal for BMW Group. Formula E has always also been a technology lab for us.  

“We achieved a technology cycle between production and motorsport for the electric drivetrain, from which both sides have benefitted.  

“We have now virtually exhausted this development potential in terms of technology and know-how.  

“We are now focusing on large-scale production with the fifth generation of BMW e-drivetrain.” 

Read Also:

For the second year in succession, BMW Andretti driver Maximilian Guenther topped the three-day pre-season test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia earlier this week. 

The two-time E-Prix winner has been partnered with former R-Motorsport Aston Martin DTM driver Jake Dennis for the coming campaign following Alexander Sims’ move to Mahindra Racing. 

FE rookie Dennis won the seat against DTM competition Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Lucas Auer after extensive simulator and private testing runs.  

New Audi signing Rene Rast, a three-time champion of DTM, has revealed he did not know he was effectively signing up for a one-year deal to race in FE.  

Meanwhile, teammate and 2016-17 FE title winner Lucas di Grassi has told Motorsport.com of his desire to continue in the series beyond Audi’s departure.   

shares
comments

Related video

What we learned from Formula E's Valencia test
Previous article

What we learned from Formula E's Valencia test

Next article

Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E

Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E
Mortara turns up the heat on FE title rivals in Marrakesh scorcher Prime

Mortara turns up the heat on FE title rivals in Marrakesh scorcher

Formula E’s unplanned return to Marrakesh provided teams with a fresh challenge in old but familiar surroundings, as Edoardo Mortara kept his cool in melting conditions to triumph and retake the championship lead

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push Prime

How Evans kept cool in Jakarta heat to renew his Formula E title push

Jean-Eric Vergne had comfortably taken a landmark pole for Formula E's first visit to Indonesia and looked set to win his first race of a highly consistent campaign. But the DS Techeetah driver couldn't answer a late attack from Jaguar's Mitch Evans, who profited from the Frenchman's change in battery management tactics to seize a third win of the campaign

Formula E
Jun 6, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner Prime

How Jake Dennis’ struggles turned him into a Formula E frontrunner

Having emerged as one of Formula E’s strongest drivers in his one-and-a-half seasons in the championship, Jake Dennis cemented his place in the series with a breakout maiden season. But it's not always been smooth sailing for the Briton

Formula E
May 10, 2022
How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco Prime

How Vandoorne recaptured Mercedes' winning feeling in Monaco

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is struggling, but its Formula E arm is in fine form at the moment and once again leads the drivers' standings courtesy of Stoffel Vandoorne. Here's how the Belgian took a well-judged Monaco victory to emerge at the head of the brewing four-way championship tussle

Formula E
May 2, 2022
Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises? Prime

Will lighter, greener, faster Gen3 deliver on Formula E's many promises?

With a fighter-jet inspired design, revamped technical specifications and a new tyre supplier, Formula E's Gen3 car is set to shake up the series. But can it deliver on all of the promises that Formula E has set out to ensure that manufacturers consider the outlay on going racing in an all-electric arena worthwhile?

Formula E
Apr 29, 2022
Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent Prime

Why Nissan's e.dams buyout signifies its Formula E victory intent

The e.dams Formula E squad is one of the most storied in the championship's short history as its original benchmark, but its successes in the Gen2 era have been fleeting by comparison. Nissan's decision to take full control ahead of Gen3 marks a statement of intent that it intends to get back to winning ways

Formula E
Apr 12, 2022