BMW announces Formula E departure after this season - The Race
Formula E

BMW announces Formula E departure after this season

Dec 2 2020
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

BMW will leave Formula E at the end of the upcoming season, the German manufacturer announced on Wednesday.

Fellow German marque Audi had communicated its withdrawal earlier this week, and BMW will now leave the series at the same time, following the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.

BMW had joined the series as a full-time manufacturer entrant in Formula E’s first Gen2 season in 2018-19, partnering the Andretti squad after having provided technical assistance to the American team the year prior.

It fielded Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa in its first season as a works entrant, taking a win with the latter, who then went on to join DS Techeetah in the following season and win the title.

Maximilian Guenther replaced da Costa at BMW in the subsequent campaign, and both he and Sims won races but the team finished fifth in the standings for the second campaign running.

For this season, BMW drafted in Jake Dennis to replace the Mahindra-bound Sims. Dennis drove in pre-season testing at Valencia this week alongside Guenther, the latter setting the quickest time of the test.

BMW has been “official vehicle partner” of Formula E since launch, and supplied its safety cars and other safety vehicles.

“As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E,” the manufacturer’s statement read.

“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.”

Unlike Audi, BMW does not supply a powertrain to any other team on the grid.

It is not clear whether Andretti will remain in the series and potentially align with another manufacturer.

“The news about BMW’s Formula E exit after the 2021 season comes as a surprise and is a great shame,” Guenther said.

“But our ambitions for the new season in the FIA Formula E World Championship are not affected. The focus is on my upcoming tasks in 2021 and I can’t wait to finally race again after the successful test days in Valencia.”

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