01 Jul 20

Daniel Abt joins NIO 333, replacing Ma until the end of the season

Daniel Abt will step in at NIO 333 for the nine-day six-race showdown in Berlin, replacing Ma Qinghua who misses out due to travel limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The German, twice a race-winner in Formula E, makes a rapid return to the Formula E grid after his move away from Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler during the lockdown period, and will partner Oliver Turvey in place of Ma for the remainder of the season.

Fully focussed

Abt is fully focussed on the future following his Audi departure, and is raring to repay the faith shown in him by NIO 333.

"I take full responsibility for what happened in the Race at Home Challenge - it was a mistake," started Abt. "I have no hard feelings towards anyone, and now is the time for me to look forward and get back to what I love most - racing. I just want to do the best I can for the team and help us have a good finish to the season.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity, and the trust, that NIO 333 is placing in me. The chance to race the final six races of the season - my home races - and continue my record of competing in every round to-date in Formula E is very exciting."

Having been a part of a small group of drivers to have completed that feat in Formula E, a breakthrough victory came Abt's way in 2018 when he signed off a career-defining perfect race weekend with a commanding lights-to-flag win on home soil in Berlin at the BMW i Berlin E-Prix, having also claimed pole position and the fastest lap. 

That same season proved to be his best to-date in Formula E as he wound up fifth in the Drivers' standings whilst helping Audi bring home the Teams' title alongside team-mate Lucas di Grassi.

Home turf

The 27-year-old finds himself 17th in the Drivers' running this time around, with his eye on utilising his experience to drive NIO forward through six rounds in nine days from a circuit, in Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, that is 'special' to him.

"Berlin is a great place for me," said Abt. "I have great memories there and a home race is always something special. I'll miss the fans but I'm sure those watching from home will see some exciting races.

"I want to finish Season 6 on a high and we will see what the future brings. I have competed in every race in Formula E's history and have worked with a leading manufacturer for the last three years.

"I have a lot of experience and a lot to give the team. I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver."

'More precious than gold!'

Vincent Wang, the team's CEO, spoke of his excitement at securing Abt and hopes the signing will drive NIO 333 on to a strong end to the season.

"When the possibility of signing Daniel was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect," said Wang. "As the saying goes in the Eastern world - a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold!

"We have decided to give Daniel the opportunity to make his return and we welcome him with open arms. We hope the home hero will redouble our efforts towards finishing this extraordinary season in style."

Formula E returns for its nine-day six-race showdown at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport on August 5. Keep across fiaformulae.com to get yourself up to speed and for all the build-up as the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads towards its climax.

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