René Rast will partner Lucas di Grassi at Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler for the remainder of Formula E’s 2019/20 season, replacing Daniel Abt at the German marque.
The two-time DTM champion joins Audi three weeks on from the suspension and dismissal of Abt as a result of his failed ringer jest in Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge – an esports series designed to raise funds for UNICEF as part of the coronavirus appeal.
With one E-Prix start to his name after acting as a stand-in for Antonio Felix da Costa at the Season 2 Berlin round, Rast’s opportunity will see the 33-year-old complete six races – three double-header rounds – in nine days at the Tempelhof Airport.
To prepare for this six race showdown which will conclude Formula E’s present season, Rast will complete a Gen2 test at the beginning of July at the Lausitzring with team-mate di Grassi.
“I’ve been following Formula E very closely for a long time and am now looking forward to this new challenge,” said Rast.
“The demands on the drivers in Formula E are high: In addition to pure speed, it’s also a question of efficiency, battery management and the perfect strategy – and all of this on tight city circuits, where things are usually quite turbulent.
“But, with the testing at the beginning of July and my experience in the simulator, I will try to be as well prepared as possible when I arrive in Berlin. And with six races in nine days, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn quickly.”
Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport, added: “As a two-time DTM Champion and long-time Audi driver, René was naturally on the shortlist from the very beginning.
“In the past, he has often proved how fast he is in a new series without having to get used to it.
“It’s nice that there are no overlaps between DTM and Formula E so that René can compete in both series for us. With six final races in Berlin, our team still has everything to play for in the championship.”