Gunther replaces da Costa at BMW Formula E squad

BMW Andretti has signed Maximilian Gunther to its ABB FIA Formula E team for the 2019/20 season and officially confirmed Antonio Felix da Costa’s exit as a factory driver.

Gunther replaces da Costa at BMW Formula E squad

Gunther completed 10 races for the Dragon Racing squad in FE’s 2018/19 season, finishing 17th in the championship with a best result of fifth in Paris and Bern.

But he made a particular impression with his speed in qualifying, reaching superpole twice – in Rome and Bern.

“It is fantastic to be part of BMW i Motorsport now,” said Gunther.

“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 [in the Formula BMW Talent Cup].”

Da Costa raced at the Andretti-run FE entry – which became BMW’s works operation ahead of the most-recent campaign – for three seasons and had been a factory driver with BMW for the last six years.

He has been heavily linked with a move to reigning FE teams’ champion DS Techeetah, which is set to announce a replacement for Andre Lotterer, who left the squad to join Porsche’s first FE line-up.

Da Costa wrote on Twitter that he would “carry [BMW] in my heart forever. New challenges coming up, soon will announce my future”.

"I have always been happy and proud to be part of the BMW family,” da Costa said in a BMW statement.

“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.”

Da Costa’s BMW exit appears to boost Sims’ chances of staying on the FE grid for a second season.

The British driver showed pace throughout his rookie campaign in 2018/19, but was caught up in a string of incidents before taking pole and second place at the final race of the season in New York.

BMW stated that its plans for the seat alongside Gunther “will be announced in the coming weeks before the official test drives at Valencia (ESP) in October”.

BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “I am looking forward to Maximilian Gunther returning to the BMW family.

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.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Antonio very much for the good collaboration this past Formula E season and in the six years overall as a BMW works driver in the DTM, the WEC, in GT racing and in Formula E.”

Confirmed 2019/20 line-up:

Team Drivers
Nissan e.dams

Switzerland Sebastien Buemi

United Kingdom Oliver Rowland

Audi

Brazil Lucas di Grassi

Germany Daniel Abt

Mahindra

TBA

TBA

Envision Virgin Racing

United Kingdom Sam Bird

Netherlands Robin Frijns

DS Techeetah

France Jean-Eric Vergne

Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa

Dragon

New Zealand Brendon Hartley

TBA

Jaguar

TBA

TBA

NIO

TBA

TBA

Venturi

Brazil Felipe Massa

Italy Edoardo Mortara

BMW Andretti

Germany Maximilian Gunther

TBA

Mercedes

TBA

TBA

Porsche

Germany Andre Lotterer

Switzerland Neel Jani

shares
comments
Audi reveals revised Formula E livery for 2019/20 season
Previous article

Audi reveals revised Formula E livery for 2019/20 season

Next article

The giant rookie doing Formula E its own way

The giant rookie doing Formula E its own way
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
How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome Prime

How Evans came, saw and conquered Formula E in Rome

Mitch Evans and Jaguar dominated the Rome E-Prix weekend, winning both races to bring alive a season in which he'd scored just one point from the previous three weekends. Supreme overtaking and strategy proved key in bringing the Kiwi back into title contention on a weekend that he was, his rivals conceded, “in a different league”

Formula E
Apr 11, 2022