In a move that’s shocking (ha! a pun!) to no one, BMW announced Wednesday that they were joining Formula E for the series’ fifth season in 2018-2019 as a manufacturer, reports Motorsport.com. MS Amlin Andretti will become the new BMW works team in the series, building off the technical partnership BMW has had with the team since season two.
BMW was announced as a new manufacturer for season five onwards in Formula E back in March, so today’s announcement really just nails down the details. They’ll be competing against their German car rival Audi, who announced last week that the Abt Schaeffler Formula E team will be their new works effort for Season 5 onwards.
Despite MS Amlin Andretti’s best result since partnering with BMW being a single podium finish in Season Two, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt told Motorsport.com that he’s optimistic about their new works team:
Andretti is the ideal partner for this mission. The name needs no introduction in international motor racing. Our cooperation is already working very well, and we look forward to taking the next steps together.
I mean, that name’s been opening doors for Marco Andretti all these years, I guess. That being said, getting BMW’s full works backing is fantastic news for the MS Amlin Andretti team. BMW has a good, long history of doing fairly well in motorsport.
Like every other manufacturer who’s scrambling to develop electric cars to meet tougher regulations now, Marquart told Motorsport.com that BMW sees Formula E as an important place to demonstrate their “technical expertise” (and thus, battery-powered domination) in the burgeoning EV market. Either way, it will be cool to see BMWs running at Formula E in a non-race-support-vehicle capacity.
Season Five doesn’t just have the great Ingolstadt vs. Munich face-off, but it’s also the year Formula E will see a host of changes. Not only are more items being opened up for teams to develop, but they’re getting a rad new car that can finally go the full distance of the race.