Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will keep Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt on for a sixth ABB FIA Formula E Championship campaign, it confirmed on Thursday morning.
The two drivers have scored a combined total of 12 Formula E race wins since 2014 for the Audi team, which has been known as Audi Sport ABT and ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in previous seasons.
Abt had been linked to a possible move away from the team earlier this year and held discussions with several rival teams in April and May.
E-racing365 has discovered that some personnel in the Audi squad were at one stage lobbying for Nico Mueller to be given a race chance.
However, Abt’s consistency and contribution to the team’s current points tally saw him get a one year contract extension.
Di Grassi and Abt have ensured that Audi’s record in the Formula E standings reads as third in 2014-15, second in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, first in 2017-18 and currently second in 2018-19.
The pair have also scored 40 podium finishes and 1027 points, making Abt and di Grassi the most successful duo in Formula E in the 56 races so far participated in.
“With eight title candidates before the final weekend, we’re currently seeing the most exciting Formula E season to date and expect the competition to become even fiercer with Mercedes’ and Porsche’s entries next season,” said head of Audi Sport Dieter Gass.
“By confirming our two drivers early on, we also want to send a clear message to our competitors: we will be optimally prepared and are happy to take on the challenge.
“Besides meticulous development and testing of the new car, this also includes our clear commitment to our two drivers.”
Abt says that his immediate focus is on the New York City double-header this weekend as the team aims to take a second success Formula E teams’ title.
“We still have big aims for New York, so tackling the last two races and subsequent pre-season preparations with this confirmation and positive thoughts is even sweeter,” said Abt.
“I’ve never felt as comfortable in a team and a series as I have with Audi in Formula E. I’m proud of the trust that’s being placed in me and will do everything to express my thanks with performance.”