BMW is officially entering the Formula E world as a team partner, initially. After providing the safety cars for the eco-friendly racing championship, BMW Motorsport is now joining US racing legend Michael Andretti’s (US) team in the FIA Formula E Championship – the world’s leading racing series for electric cars.
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As cooperation partner of Andretti Formula E, BMW Motorsport will cooperate closely with the team, “in order to familiarize itself with processes in this innovative series, and to check the possibility of a works involvement in the future,”, the automaker said in an official statement.
A BMW works team in Formula E is being assessed for 2018.
At the same time, BMW i remains the “Official Vehicle Partner” of Formula E. Ever since the inaugural season of the series in 2014/15, the BMW i8 Safety Car has taken to the track in Formula E as a high-performance and efficient lead car.
Hildegard Wortmann, Senior Vice President Brand BMW, said: “The new motor racing strategy is particularly characterised by a strong ‘brand fit’. The different commitments ideally contribute to the attributes that fans and customers connect with the respective brand. We will extend the existing target groups and will – for instance – become even more visible for urban and young customers, as with our Formula E commitment. Overall we are very well positioned with this strategy in motorsport and are represented on the most important markets worldwide. BMW and motorsport – they belong together. This combination has always shaped the brand.”
The cooperation with Andretti Formula E is initially set to run for two seasons. It incorporates, for example, cooperation at engineer level and the mutual use of resources. Depending on the general development of the racing series, a works involvement is envisaged as of the series’ season 5, 2018/2019, provided the conditions and circumstances are right.
As part of this commitment, BMW Motorsport will provide its works driver António Félix da Costa (PT) as a driver for Andretti Formula E. The Portuguese, who has featured on the top step of the DTM podium with BMW and has already tasted victory in Formula E, will contest the entire 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship.