Abt could quit motorsport if Audi FE contract not renewed
26-year-old Abt has been with the team since Formula E’s formation in 2014 when it was run as the Audi Sport ABT team managed by his father, Hans-Jürgen.
Abt and long-standing team-mate Lucas di Grassi were both retained when the team was officially bought out by Audi two years ago but now the German admits he’s unsure as to whether he’ll remain with the team next season.
“To be honest at the moment, my situation hasn’t really changed. I still don’t know. I still hope that I can stay with Audi and that I can continue,” Abt told eRacing Magazine.
“That’s my priority, that’s the goal. If you look around and you’re realistic, there’s not much free space. I think Audi has proven to be a great team so of course, I want to stay here.”
Asked if his family’s long-running association with the Audi brand limits his options to move elsewhere, Abt admits that some teams simply will not consider him because of this.
“Yeah it does [but] I think I’ve had this my whole life,” said Abt.
“Even before Formula E my name is so connected to Audi so brands that are [Audi’s rivals] won’t consider me because it’s kind of weird if I’m in a Mercedes for example when [my family] have a tuning company that tunes Audi cars.
“Right now in the current situation a lot of doors are shut for me just because of my name. That’s just how it is.
“All the top drives are basically locked in [for next season]. There are a lot of drivers with long contracts and not a lot of teams with space so yeah it’s a tough situation for me.
“It’s not a great feeling but other people are making these decisions and if [Audi] decide to wait and they think that’s the best approach then I have to accept it.”
Despite having previously raced in WEC and the German-based ADAC GT Masters series, Abt has all but ruled out moving to another championship if Audi does not retain his services.
“To be honest, I’ve found a series here [in Formula E] where I enjoy what I do and I’m still enjoying it but if I look at other motorsport series around there’s not much that really interests me in the same way,” said Abt.
“I like being here and I want to be here again next year but if I can’t then there’s a chance that I will just end it and try something new.
“I don’t just want to race [for the sake of it]. I don’t just want to be in a series where I’m driving to just earn some money or to just be there. It’s not what I think life is about. I love racing but there’s lots of other stuff that could also interest me.
“I don’t want to do things that I’m not 100% convinced of. I’ve had five amazing years so far and I’ve loved it but I see how other motorsport is evolving, I go to a lot of other series and I watch races but I just don’t see the same atmosphere and spirit so it just does not really attract me.
“For me, it would feel like going backwards and I want to go forward. That’s just how I feel.”
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