BMW joins Andretti in Formula E, considering works team

Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:31am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - BMW will work with the U.S.-based Andretti Formula E team this season before a possible factory involvement in the electric series from 2018, the German manufacturer said on Tuesday.

Formula E's third season starts in Hong Kong on Oct. 9.

The championship has attracted growing manufacturer interest, with Jaguar making its debut this year and Renault, Citroen's DS brand, Audi and India's Mahindra already involved.

"Over the coming years, the cooperation with Andretti Formula E will primarily focus on familiarizing ourselves with the procedures and processes, and on intensifying our knowledge," said BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt in a statement.

"Our works driver Antonio Felix da Costa will be in action behind the wheel. A works involvement is then conceivable as of the series’ fifth season.

"The premise for all these steps is the further positive development of the series, which includes increasing the capacity of the batteries, for example."

BMW are already involved in the city-based electric series as official vehicle provider and supplier of the safety and medical cars with the fully-electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8 models.

The Bavarian manufacturer withdrew from Formula One in 2009.   Continued...

Formula E - Berlin ePrix, Berlin, Germany, 21/05/16. Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro of Team Andretti competes. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke