Audi has been confirmed as the new powertrain suppliers for Virgin Racing team in a multi-year deal from the 2018/19 FIA Formula E Championship season.
The British team parted ways with DS Automobile at the end of the 2017/18 Formula E season with speculations rose about Virgin joining hands with Audi from Season 5. In between, DS confirmed Techeetah as their new partnered team.
Few months later, Virgin has now confirmed its partnership with Audi in an unspecified multi-year deal which makes it four Audi e-tron FE05 cars on the grid for the German manufacturer – including the two factory cars.
Virgin Racing’s MD, Sylvain Filippi said: “After four fantastic seasons securing seven wins and 19 podiums, and recently, a successful partnership with DS Automobiles, we have opted to take a new direction for the next generation of Formula E.
“From the outset, it was always the team’s intention to partner with an OEM as Virgin’s core business areas don’t involve the production of automobiles. With Audi Sport together with the drive of our majority team owner Envision, we feel this is the perfect partnership to ensure we continue fighting at the front of the grid.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass added: “We are glad that in the new Formula E season together with Virgin Racing four Audi e-tron FE05 cars will fight for points and trophies. The team has been one of the key players in Formula E ever since the series was founded – both in terms of its racing performances and all off-track activities.
“This makes Virgin Racing’s choice of using our powertrain a particular pleasure. This confidence also confirms the excellent work that our engineers are doing together with their colleagues from our development partner Schaeffler.”
The British team has been competing in the all-electric series since the inaugural year as they started their journey with Renault after which it switched to Citroen/DS Automobiles for the last three years – with a best finish of third (twice) in the standings.
The team will reveal its all-new Gen2 car in a launch event on October 5 along with the driver line-up with longtime partner Sam Bird expected to stay for his fifth season. The second driver is yet to be ascertained with several names being speculated.
Formula E 2018/19 line-up till now:
Venturi: Felipe Massa & Edoardo Mortara
Jaguar Racing: Nelson Piquet Jr & Mitch Evans
Audi: Lucas di Grassi & Daniel Abt
BMW Andretti: Antonio Felix da Costa & Alexander Sims
Nissan: Sebastien Buemi & Alexander Albon