BMW i8 Formula E Safety Car 19

Aside from its re-entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, BMW’s strategic realignment of its motorsport programme will involve a partnership with the Andretti Formula E team on a long-term basis.

The partnership will see BMW Motorsport cooperate closely with the Formula E team, in order to familiarise itself with processes in the racing series, and to check on the possibility of a works involvement in the future.

For the upcoming 2016/17 season, BMW works driver Antonio Felix da Costa will be in action behind the wheel of one of the Andretti Formula E race cars. BMW hopes that with the knowledge gained from the partnership, it will formally enter the all-electric race series by its fifth season.

Another carmaker that has stepped up its involvement in Formula E is Audi, who plans to introduce a factory-backed team for the following 2017/18 season (fourth series). However, Jaguar has already marked its entry into Formula E, with the I-Type 1 set to make its debut at the 2016/17 season opener in Hong Kong on October 9.

2016-2017 Formula E race car 1

“Electric mobility will continue to grow in importance. In the last ten years, we have established a leading position in the automobile industry in this field with BMW i,” said Klaus Frohlich, member of the board of management of BMW AG.

“Through our partnership with Andretti Formula E in the Formula E Championship, we will now additionally see a close interaction between motor racing and production development in our company, from which both departments will benefit,” he added.

Prior to this announcement, BMW’s involvement in Formula E involves bringing a fleet of its fully-electric and hybrid vehicles to every race. The BMW i8 is used as the safety car and an all-electric BMW i3 is utilised as the official medical car.