After his stunning lights-to-flag win at Audi’s home race in Berlin last month, Abt revealed after the race that he was still waiting for to find out if the team would retain him for next season.
Today, Audi team principal Allan McNish confirmed in Zurich that Abt would remain with the team and said the German had earned his seat on merit after a string of impressive performances of late.
“I’m very pleased that he’ll be with us, you’ll see Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt as our driver lineup for season five,” said McNish.
“Daniel was brought in through the team [when] we took it over, but for us, it’s very clear that he’s a driver for the long term, not just for the short term.
“He’s got his seat on his merit, and purely on his merit by the job he has done through the course of this year.”
After failing to score a podium in season two, Abt has won three times this season although his victory in Hong Kong was later chalked off following a technical infringement.
McNish said that becoming a works Audi driver this year appears to have made a significant difference to Abt’s performances on track.
“Straight out of the blocks when he became a factory driver, I think he grew up a lot, and I think you saw it in Hong Kong, the potential that was there,” said McNish.
“[At the Berlin E-Prix] you saw one of the most polished performances certainly that I’ve seen in a long time from him, so it was fully deserved that he got his pole, win, and fastest lap and dominated the race.
“I’m a big believer in giving people opportunities to show what they can do, and he grabbed hold of that in Berlin. It was the perfect example of what he can do.
“I expect to see a lot more of that.”
Abt revealed he was told the news that Audi wanted to re-sign him on the evening of the Berlin E-Prix, and says his “plan” for next season now is to mount a championship challenge.
“I felt I made [a step forwards] already last year, but I had a lot of technical failures. This season we have an improved car, and I seem to have so much confidence,” said Abt.
“It’s never easy, and it doesn’t mean you go out every race and feel like you can beat everybody, but I feel I can win, now I know how to win.
“I’m in a happy position, I’m enjoying it, and now I want to keep pushing and get better and better.”
Image Credit: Formula E