Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler has confirmed René Rast will partner Lucas di Grassi for the remainder of Formula E’s 2019/20 season, replacing documented bad boy Daniel Abt.
Abt was dropped from the team and fined over $17,000 after it was discovered the German had cheated in one of the Formula E Race at Home Eseries events by hiring a professional sim-racer to complete the race for him.
The two-time DTM champion has one E-Prix start to his name, having filled in for Antonio Felix da Costa at the struggling Team Aguri back in 2016.
The 33-year-old will complete six races – three double-header rounds – in nine days at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport to see out the curtailed 2019/20 season.
Rast will partake in a Gen2 test at the beginning of July at the Lausitzring in Germany with team-mate di Grassi in preparation for the first race back which is slated for August 5.
“I’ve been following Formula E very closely for a long time and am now looking forward to this new challenge,” said Rast.
“The demands on the drivers in Formula E are high: In addition to pure speed, it’s also a question of efficiency, battery management and the perfect strategy – and all of this on tight city circuits, where things are usually quite turbulent.
“But, with the testing at the beginning of July and my experience in the simulator, I will try to be as well prepared as possible when I arrive in Berlin. And with six races in nine days, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn quickly.”
Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport, added:
“As a two-time DTM Champion and long-time Audi driver, René was naturally on the shortlist from the very beginning.
“In the past, he has often proved how fast he is in a new series without having to get used to it.
“It’s nice that there are no overlaps between DTM and Formula E so that René can compete in both series for us. With six final races in Berlin, our team still has everything to play for in the championship.”
Kiwi racer Mitch Evans curently lies second in the standings ahead of the season return, 11 points adrift of championship leader Da Costa.