Audi will leave Formula E at the end of the impending 2020/21 season in preparation for a return to the top flight of sportscar racing and a planned fully-electric entry in the Dakar Rally.
The German marque provided technical support to Abt during the single-seater series’ first three seasons before entering the championship as a works entity in Season 4.
During its six-season presence in Formula E, Audi has secured 12 victories and a further 32 podiums while also winning the Teams’ Championship in the 2017/18 season.
The team enters Season 7 off the back of its worst Formula E campaign to date in which it finished in sixth place overall, getting beaten in the standings by customer team, Envision Virgin Racing.
For Season 7, the team will use its first in-house designed powertrain in the e-tron FE07, which will be driven by Season 3 Drivers’ champion Lucas di Grassi and reigning DTM champion, René Rast.
Audi’s exit from Formula E proceeds a planned return to sportscar racing with a new LMDh programme scheduled alongside a planned return to off-road racing in the 2022 Dakar Rally.
“The Dakar Rally will replace Audi’s factory involvement in Formula E, which will no longer be continued in the form of an Audi factory team after the 2021 season,” read a statement issued by the manufacturer.
Continuing, the statement also confirmed continued support for customer teams, which will still be able to use the marque’s powertrain in Season 8: “The use of the newly developed Audi powertrain by customer teams will remain possible beyond next year,” it added.
With Audi’s departure, a gap opens on the Formula E grid for Season 8, leaving a space for a new team join the recently sanctioned FIA World Championship.