The Andretti Formula E team is set to continue with a BMW powertrain for the next ABB FIA Formula E World Championship after BMW’s official exit.
The final Gen2 campaign – expected to begin in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2021 and run through 2022 – will be the first FE season since 2018 that will not include BMW as a factory entity. It announced its intention to withdraw its involvement at the end of the upcoming 2021 season last December.
Andretti, which owns the team entry, has over the last two months been putting together a deal to continue using the already homologated BMW-designed powertrain.
The Race understands that those plans are agreed in principle and should be formalised for the team to continue under its own management and engineering leadership in the 2021/22 season.
Although the team was unable to comment on the subject to The Race recently, the move should be confirmed shortly by Andretti, which races under a British entry licence having originally established its team in the UK. It continues to have a base in Oxfordshire.
BMW is still contracted to the FIA as a manufacturer up to and including the final season of the Gen2 technical package in 2022. This means that there is an official obligation to provide a powertrain should it fix a deal in place with a team.
“Certainly, that will probably be the least disruptive route,” team principal Roger Griffiths told The Race last December when asked about the prospect of continuing with BMW tech.
“Because it is effectively just a carry over with BMW and it has already had a two-season homologation. That’s obviously something we’re looking at.”
Another option for Andretti was to engage with another manufacturer for the 2021/22 season but this would have had to be confirmed early last month.
The expected news that Andretti will continue with the same BMW powertrain it currently has will ensure it remains an ever-present in Formula E.
It was one of the founding teams that committed back in 2013 prior to the inception of the all-electric series a year later.
Plans for the exact make-up of the team for the 2021/22 season, including drivers, are set to play out during the 2021 season. It currently has factory BMW drivers Maximilian Guenther and Jake Dennis as its line-up.
The year ahead is expected to be one of the most active driver market periods in Formula E history, with several drivers known to be out of contract this summer and BMW and Audi’s exits complicating the picture.
The Race understands that both Dennis and Guenther will be free agents at the end of the present campaign. The former has a one-year deal, while the latter is believed to have signed a long-term contract after his first season with the team, which however effectively became a one-year deal after BMW’s exit decision.
This could prove a significant twist in the driver market as Guenther especially is known to be highly valued by some rival teams.
The two time E-Prix winner’s move to the team in the summer of 2019 was instigated by Andretti’s Roger Griffiths rather than BMW.
Last year after Alexander Sims’s exit for Mahindra, BMW i Andretti tested Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann, Sheldon van der Linde and Lucas Auer prior to choosing Dennis for the seat alongside Guenther.