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Audi Trio on Formula E Teams’ Radar

More than two Audi factory drivers could be racing in Formula E next season…

Photo: Audi

Rene Rast, Nico Mueller and Robin Frijns could all be in line for a chance to race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship next season.

E-racing365 has understands that the Audi-contracted drivers are being considered for drives in the series for the 2018-19 campaign.

Frijns has two full seasons of Formula E competition under his belt with Andretti in Seasons Two and Three, scoring a best result of third place at the Putrajaya round in November 2015.

The Dutchman was considered to be one of the top performers in the all-electric series and was in touch with several teams for a possible drive in Season Four before he was confirmed in Audi’s 2018 DTM lineup.

Rast made a one-off cameo appearance for the Team Aguri squad at the Berlin E-Prix in May 2016. Since then, he has concentrated on DTM, LMP2 and GT3 racing.

However, the reigning DTM champion is a highly prized driver due to his experience with some of the energy recovery systems which were used on the 2015 and 2016 Audi LMP1 cars.

Mueller is yet to take part in an E-Prix, but did impress with the fastest time for Audi in the Marrakesh Rookie test which was held in January.

He has since become a development driver for the team and will be on site at this weekend’s Zurich E-Prix.

Present Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler driver Daniel Abt is known to only have a one-year deal but is scheduled to negotiate with the team at the end of this season for a potential one-year extension to partner Lucas di Grassi.

One possible avenue for Audi to introduce an additional driver could be by placing one at Virgin Racing, for which it will provide powertrains next season.

Sam Bird and Alex Lynn are both understood to have options on their services for Season Five but recent turbulence in the team around the departure of Team Principal Alex Tai and the arrival of majority stakeholder Envision Energy could change the strategy.

In addition, at least one other team is believed to have made enquiries about one or more of the Audi trio in recent weeks.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. krisg

    June 5, 2018 at 10:24 am

    So many manufacturers are ready to step up their game using consumer teams to mature their drivers as Mercedes-HWA-Venturi partnership and Audi-Virgin for upcoming season.

  2. krisg

    June 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

    And the re-shake at soon to be known as Virgin-Envision-Audi Team posses a threat to the permanence of Sam Bird and Alex Lynn in the team. Sam Bird is a valuable asset and in content for the title this season but Alex disappointed after a strong start in the previous season.

    Will be good to see Robin Frijns back though, his unexpected departure was a loss for the championship.

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