SPORTS


BMW upping Formula E support earlier than expected

Baku, October 23, AZERTAC

BMW has increased its engineering involvement with the Andretti Formula E team earlier than expected to try and recover lost ground after a difficult 2016/17 season, according to motorsport.com.

Andretti abandoned its ATEC-01 powertrain ahead of the 2015/16 season, and its first successful motor/gearbox/inverter package was only good enough to score points in five of the 12 races in 2016/17.

It announced a technical partnership with BMW before the start of that season, and the German manufacturer will make the FE entry a fully-fledged works programme in 2018/19.

BMW has upped its engineering support for the coming campaign, though it is still not offering powertrain assistance.

More BMW engineers will be embedded in the race team as well, although it will still be predominantly Andretti staff.

"It was a really disappointing season last year, we can't hide that," BMW-contracted Andretti driver Antonio Felix da Costa told Motorsport.com.

"We want to get out of that position. But we have to be realistic. It wasn't an easy off-season if I'm honest, we had a few technical issues.

"There has been some big, big changes and massive help from BMW after that. I don't know why that was made but I'm really glad that happened.

"Looking at what we have now, and all the effort coming from BMW, earlier than what I was expecting, is nice."

Andretti did not begin private testing with its 2017/18 powertrain until August, after the previous season had finished.

It started 2016/17 with a double-points finish in Hong Kong, but faded as the season developed.

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