On the heels of Audi’s announcement earlier this week that it would end its involvement in the ABB Formula E Championship after 2021’s Season 7, BMW Motorsport has confirmed that it will be doing the same. However, while Audi said it was refocusing its efforts on sports car racing’s forthcoming LMDh category and a Dakar Rally entry, BMW said in a statement announcing the move that the company had “exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer” and will now focus on developing electric automotive technology for production vehicles.
BMW has been involved in the all-electric series from the outset, initially as a sponsor and then as a technical partner with the Andretti team.
“After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of the coming season,” the manufacturer stated. “As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E. However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E. As the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility, we will now concentrate on a model offensive and series production in large quantities with the fifth generation BMW E-drives.”
The BMW i Andretti Motorsport team will contest its final season, set to launch in January, with Jake Dennis (pictured above during preseason testing at Valencia earlier this week) and Max Guenther as the drivers of the team’s BMW iFE 21 entries. Despite BMW’s decision, team boss Michael Andretti indicated his team would continue beyond next season into the next generation of Formula E.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside BMW since Season 3, and officially as a works team for BMW Motorsport since Season 5,” Andretti said. “We have enjoyed great successes together during this time and have truly helped pioneer the future of electric mobility. We’d like to offer our thanks to the entire BMW family for the past years. The BMW i Andretti Motorsport team looks forward to entering Season 7, and we will be working very hard to give BMW a proper and successful sendoff during this last season together as a works team.
“Andretti Formula E first entered electric racing as a charter team in the FIA Formula E championship, competing since the series inception; we look forward to announcing our own plans for the continuation of our Formula E program in due course.”