German GP2 series driver Daniel Abt and Brazilian World Endurance Championship driver Lucas di Grassi have become the first names to be officially announced as drivers for the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship that begins in September. The two drivers have been confirmed at the Abt Sportsline team.
Former Formula 1 driver di Grassi was originally Formula E’s official development driver, but gave up that role in order to chase a race seat in the series.
The Brazilian will be a full-time Audi World Endurance Championship driver for 2014, stepping into the seat vacated by Allan McNish’s retirement. He is thankful that he can race in both series.
“I’m delighted that Audi is giving me the opportunity to drive in sports car racing as well as in Formula E,” di Grassi said.
“I’ve been watching Abt Sportsline on track for a long time – a very professional and cool outfit and my first contact.
“It’s great that it worked out. We’ve got ambitious plans.”
Team-mate Abt will be racing in his second season of the GP2 Series in 2014 with Hilmer Motorsport. He came very close to winning the 2012 GP3 series championship but just missed out to Mitch Evans in the season finale. He is the son of team-owner Hans-Jürgen Abt, and the younger Abt was delighted to be part of the first season of Formula E.
“I was really thrilled with the ideas of Formula E from the very beginning and obviously even more about Abt Sportsline competing with a team of their own,” said Daniel.
“That I’m part of the line-up in the inaugural season is both an honour and a huge challenge.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt says he is pleased with the driver line-up Abt-Sportsline have for the 2014/15 FIA Formula E Championship.
”In Daniel and Lucas we’ve signed our absolutely ideal pairing,” said Hans-Jurgen.
”My thanks go to Audi who released Lucas for the Formula E commitment. He’s been involved in the development of the series right from the beginning and is one of the most sought-after names on the scene – we’re proud that he’s opted for us.”
Sources: Autosport, http://www.fiaformulae.com/