Audi Sport has confirmed their 2019 program today, but they also put down an ultimatum.
2019 will once again consist of ABB FIA Formula E Championship and DTM.
The team won the 2017/18 Teams Championship in Formula E, and hadn’t it been for Lucas di Grassi having a very slow and troubled start to the season, he would have been able to compete against Techeetah driver Jean-Eric Vergne for the Drivers Championship. The 2018/19 season will be run with brand new cars, with an evolution of the same drive train.
The 2018 DTM season so far has been a big disappointment for Audi Sport, where only the defending Champion, Rene Rast, has won a single race for the team.
The plan for the series is to go for brand new cars and engines for the 2019 season. DTM and the Japanese Super GT series will share the regulations, so Audi and BMW can compete in Japan, while Lexus, Honda and Nissan etc. will be able to compete in DTM.
But Audi Sport has put down an ultimatum in today’s announcement. They has made it clear for the DTM organisation, ITR, that there absolutely has to be a third works team in DTM in 2020 at latest – otherwise Audi Sport will leave the DTM.
That announcement will surely make the DTM boss Gerhard Berger sweat, putting him under maximum pressure.
There have been rumours about Aston Martin potentially being interested in DTM. They have the R-Motorsport outfit running some Astons at the moment, and that team have some former DTM faces involved in the team. But it’s still too early, with nothing being confirmed just yet.
So we are going into some exciting months regarding the future of DTM.
There were no announcement regarding the number of cars that Audi Sport would enter in the 2019 DTM season. They currently run 6 cars, but a 12-car line-up would surely be too little for a series to run. So expect 8 or 9 cars each from Audi Sport and BMW in the upcoming season.