As part of a new strategic realignment of its motosports activities, the BMW Group will partner with Andretti Formula E in the Formula E Championship.
The cooperation with Andretti Formula E is initially set to run for two seasons. It includes 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 strategic realignment of the motorsport activities is a strong commitment to motorsport on the part of our company. It will remain a cornerstone within the BMW Group in the future. The commitments allow us to demonstrate our expertise in the areas of technology and integration on international platforms, including the world’s leading racing series for electric mobility and classic motorsport.
Electric mobility will continue to grow in importance. In the last ten years, we have established a leading position in the automobile industry in this field with BMW i. Through our partnership with Andretti Formula E in the Formula E Championship, we will now additionally see a close interaction between motor racing and production development in our company, from which both departments will benefit.—Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development
da Costa, 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.
As well as the new partnership, BMW i will remain the “Official Vehicle Partner” of Formula E. This partnership allows BMW i to present the plug-in hybrid BMW i8, as the Safety Car, and the fully-electric BMW i3, as the Medical Car, in some of the largest cities in the world.
The realignment, which comes seven years after the withdrawal from Formula One and four years after returning to the DTM, will see classic motor racing and sustainability both playing key roles. The pillars of the BMW motorsporte program for the coming years will be the DTM; the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC); the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC); the cooperation with Andretti Formula E in the FIA Formula E Championship; the customer racing program in the GT3 and GT4 categories; the promotion of talented young drivers; and the extremely challenging Dakar Rally.
The focus on production-based motor racing, which was decided upon in 2009, will be further intensified.
The plan is for BMW to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship in the 2018 season. The highlight of this championship is the 24-hour race in Le Mans (FR).
The commitment in Formula E sees us forge new paths and demonstrate our expertise in the field of electric mobility. Over the coming years, the cooperation with Andretti Formula E will primarily focus on familiarizing ourselves with the procedures and processes, and on intensifying our knowledge. Our works driver António Félix da Costa will be in action behind the wheel. A works involvement is then conceivable as of the series’ fifth season. The premise for all these steps is the further positive development of the series, which includes increasing the capacity of the batteries, for example.—BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt