Formula E suffered a severe blow after the prestigious teams BMW and Audi announced that they will abandon the electric car series. Paradoxically, the decision of both teams came in the same week that the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) designated the event as a world championship.
In the case of BMW, they consider the brand have already taken everything out of Formula E. “Our path in Formula E is coming to an end. After seven successful years, the BMW Group will end its relationship with the category at the end of this next season,” says the statement.
BMW entered as an official project two years ago and at the end of 2021 they will leave the category to dedicate their strategic focus on electric mobility and its goal of selling 7 million electric cars by 2030.
Audi hit first
On the other hand, Audi leaves the series after communicating that there are other objectives within the world of motorsport. The team plans to race the Dakar with an electric SUV and in the WEC in the LMDh category.
Audi will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally in a 4×4 featuring an alternative drive concept that combines for the first time an electric transmission with a high-voltage battery and a high-efficiency converter.
It is an ambitious plan, as explained by Audi in its statement: “The Dakar Rally will replace Audi’s factory involvement in Formula E, which will no longer be continued in the form of an Audi factory team after the 2021 season”.
The category led by Alejandro Agag alarms and is already working so that these two defections do not cause a downfall. Both withdraws had their certain point of surprise, because the two squads who has had an uncertain future were Nissan and Jaguar. If finally they also decide to leave, the category would remain in intensive care.
The 2021 season will begin on January 16 in Santiago de Chile, and there will be Audi and BMW for the last time. With the doubts of Jaguar and Nissan, it seems that the big brands that are keeping Formula E alive now are Mercedes, Porsche, Mahindra and DS.
It should be noted that if another competitor does not enter, by 2022 the category will be reduced to 10 teams: DS Automobiles Techeetah, Envision Virgin Racing, GEOX Dragon, Mahindra Racing, Mercedes-Benz, NIO 333 Racing, Nissan e.Dams, Jaguar Racing , TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team, and Rokit Venturi Racing.