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Abt team to make Formula E return next season

The Abt Sportsline team will make its Formula E return for the 2022-23 season, reuniting with the championship for the start of the Gen3 era.

Rene Rast, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07

Abt, which evolved into the works Audi team during its initial stay in Formula E, withdrew at the end of the 2020-21 season having competed since the first ever season of the championship - winning the inaugural E-Prix in Beijing with Lucas di Grassi.

The German squad had won the 2016-17 drivers' championship with di Grassi during that initial stint, following that up with the teams' title in 2017-18 as the Gen1 era came to a close.

Abt's return to the series all but guarantees 12 teams on the grid, with the departing Mercedes squad set to be purchased in a deal expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

"Formula E has always had a big place in our hearts and we have never made a secret of the fact that we want to be back," said team boss Hans-Juergen Abt.

"After the internal kick-off, we are now talking to our current and potential partners. The goal is to bring a strong team to the championship, both on and off track."

Abt will operate as a customer team for 2022-23, and will name a powertrain supplier in due course out of one of the seven manufacturers producing a Gen3 motor unit.

Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07

Lucas Di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE07

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

The team has also stated its intention to sign "quick and clever" drivers, and could potentially hand a racing return to Rene Rast, who partnered di Grassi at the squad before it put its FE operations on hold.

"As far as our two drivers are concerned, we have very clear ideas," said Abt CEO Thomas Biermaier.

"We will probably [run] as underdogs, unlike last time as a factory team. That's why it's all the more important that we have quick and clever drivers in the cockpit, who fit in well with us.

"The first talks are exciting and very positive, so I'm sure we'll have our team together soon."

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"I am delighted to welcome Abt back to where they belong in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship," said Formula E co-founder Alberto Longo.

"Abt is a proven success story in Formula E with record-setting points and podium finishes, so their return after a season out to be part of the Gen3 era is positive for fans and the sport."

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