Hans-Jürgen Abt Q&A: “We’re in Formula E to win”

As with all the 10 Formula E teams, Audi Sport ABT has set its sights high. Led by Managing Director Hans-Jürgen Abt, the squad is the only German entry and one of four manufacturers eager to become the world’s first FIA Formula E Champions. We caught up with Hans-Jürgen to talk about the initial reactions to joining the new electric series and the team’s plans for the months ahead…

Your entry into the FIA Formula E Championship has caused quite a stir, what were the reactions following the announcement?
“We were eager to see the response and obviously had some expectations – but they’ve been surpassed by far. In the national and international media our entry was a major topic. But we were at least as delighted about the large number of positive reactions by our partners and from the motorsport scene.”

What significance does Formula E have in comparison to your commitment in the DTM?
“The DTM clearly takes priority. As an Audi factory team it’s our duty and responsibility to battle for victories and the title. That’s our big aim again in 2014 and the preparations are already in full swing. At the same time we didn’t want to miss the opportunity of being involved in such an exciting new project as Formula E from the very beginning.”

Are you proud of being the only German team in the series?
“Yes, because it’s a pleasant feeling to have the opportunity to represent the German colours in such an international racing series. We’re looking forward to working with the FIA and Formula E. Even the negotiations before the official announcement were really enjoyable. The guys around CEO Alejandro Agag have a great spirit and a passion for new ideas. There’s no doubt in my mind: The motorsport fans are going to like Formula E.”

There’s still a lot of time before the inaugural event next September. What are the next steps?
“The agreement and the announcement were only the first step. Together with our sport director Thomas Biermaier and our head of marketing Harry Unflath we’re going to put together a perfect package now. It includes sponsors as well as a strong team and, obviously, fast drivers. For one thing is clear: We’re entering Formula E with the ambition to win.”