Audi is leaning towards electric power for its motorsport program as part of its initiative to become a premium mobility provider with a carbon-neutral footprint.
The brand’s involvement in Formula E will become Audi’s centerpiece racing campaign starting next year. This reflects Audi’s intention to have around 40% of its sales volume worldwide to be comprised of electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025.
Audi is a pioneer in top-level, electric-driven motorsports, having participated in Formula E ever since the popular fully-electric racing series started in 2014. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler has been the most successful Formula E team over the years carrying 41 trophies.
Meanwhile, Audi’s future racetrack activities will exclude the brand’s participation in DTM, Germany’s touring car championship series in which Audi was a fixture from 1990 to 1992, and from 2000 onwards. To date, DTM has scored 23 championship titles, 11 driver titles, 114 victories, 345 podium finishes, 106 pole positions and 112 fastest laps in the series.
“Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi. This demonstrates what power lies in motorsport—technologically and emotionally,” said Markus Duesmann, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “With this energy, we’re going to drive our transformation into a provider of sporty, sustainable electric mobility forward. That’s why we’re also focusing our efforts on the racetrack and systematically competing for tomorrow’s ‘Vorsprung.’ Formula E offers a very attractive platform for this. To complement it, we’re investigating other progressive motorsport formats for the future.”
By clinching three of three possible championship titles, numerous podiums and many other records last year, 2019 has so far been the most successful DTM season in Audi’s history.
Audi intends to continue its success in DTM in the 2020 season, although there were economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is partly the reason for Audi’s DTM exit.
“We’re hoping that this currently difficult situation will improve soon and that we’ll still be able to contest a few DTM races this year,” said Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, member of the Board for Development at Audi AG. “The fans would deserve this, and so do our drivers, teams, and partners who will now have adequate advance notice to reposition themselves for the time after 2020. Successful motorsport is—and will continue to be—an important element of Audi’s DNA.”