Former Audi racer Abt gets second FE chance with NIO

Former Audi driver Daniel Abt has been signed by the NIO 333 team to replace Ma Qinghua for the six remaining races of the 2019-20 Formula E season.

Former Audi racer Abt gets second FE chance with NIO

Two-time E-Prix winner Abt was suspended by Audi last month after he used a sim racer to take his place in the FE Race at Home Challenge Esports competition.

He confirmed his permanent departure in an apology video uploaded to his YouTube channel before Audi then promoted double DTM champion Rene Rast to its FE team.

But Abt will now continue in the series to deputise for Ma, who is unable to travel to the three double-header events in Berlin owing to European and domestic Chinese travel restrictions.

Read Also:

Abt said: “I always loved racing and Formula E, therefore the opportunity to race in the final six races, my home races, and continue my record of competing in every single Formula E race is very exciting.

“I have been working with a leading manufacturer for the last three years, therefore, I have a lot of experience and input for the team.

“I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver [Turvey, NIO 333 teammate].”

Members of the Lisheng Racing-owned NIO 333 team who are based in Shanghai will also be absent for the nine-day programme at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin - where Abt won in 2018, and site of the virtual race where he used an esports ringer.

Although Ma is expected to continue at the team for the 2020-21 season, Abt’s recall will mean he maintains his place alongside former teammate Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird as having started every one of the 63 races in FE history.

A statement from NIO 333 read: “The team made this decision with careful consideration and have inquired with key figures of the Formula E paddock.”

Vincent Wang, the NIO 333 team CEO, added: “When the possibility of signing Daniel for the Berlin finale was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect.

“As the saying goes in the eastern world, ‘a prodigy who returns is more precious than gold’, but the controversies surrounding him during the Race at Home Challenge reached quite a high level and will bring two opposite opinions.

“In the end, after discussing with some key figures of the paddock, we have decided to give Daniel an opportunity to return to Formula E.

“We welcome him with open arms into the team, we hope the home hero will redouble our efforts to finish this extraordinary season in style!”

Mahindra also announced last week that it had signed former Jaguar and DS Virgin driver Alex Lynn to replace Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the season.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Wehrlein revealed his immediate exit from the team via a brief social media post, and is expected to take Neel Jani’s seat at Porsche for the 2020-21 season.

shares
comments
FIA details latest Formula E cost-cutting measures

Previous article

FIA details latest Formula E cost-cutting measures

Next article

Rast only at “40-50 percent” after first Audi FE test

Rast only at “40-50 percent” after first Audi FE test
Load comments
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Prime

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place.

Formula E
Jul 28, 2021
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Prime

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature.

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Prime

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

Formula E
Jul 23, 2021
How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Prime

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap.

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Prime

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space Prime

How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat.

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021