BMW have announced that they will leave the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of season seven.
In their statement, the German manufacturer stated that they had “essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.”
The announcement follow’s on from Audi’s decision to also leave the series at the end of the current season to instead focus on an electric entry for the Dakar Rally in 2022, and a re-entry in the World Endurance Championship with a Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototype in 2023.
BMW have been involved in the series from the start; first as a sponsor, before partnering Andretti just prior to the start of season four. They became a fully fledged manufacturer entry in 2018, as the championship moved towards it’s current Gen2 era.
The BMW i Andretti Motorsport team finished fifth in the teams standings’ last year, but finished the recent pre-season test in Valencia quickest with Maximillian Gunther.
The manufacturer said in their statement: “After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the series at the end of the coming season.
“As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E.
“However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.
“As the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility, we will now concentrate on a model offensive and series production in large quantities with the fifth generation BMW E-drives.”
BMW has underlined its plan to provide a full factory effort for the entire 2020-2021 FE campaign before devoting resources to any new projects.
“Even though we are leaving, our sporting ambitions remain unbroken.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Andretti and current drivers Gunther and Jake Dennis will remain in the series beyond 2021.
As Formula E prepares to move to Gen3, only Mahindra Racing have committed to the series new regulations, set to come in from 2022/23.