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Abt joins NIO for Berlin double headers

Daniel Abt will replace Ma Qinghua for the remainder of the 2019-20 Formula E season.

Ma made the decision to miss the three Berlin double-headers in August due to travel restrictions, but hopes to return to the grid for the 2020-21 season.

Abt, who has competed in every E-Prix to date, will make the switch from Audi following his exit from the team due to an incident in the FE Race at Home Challenge.

“I take full responsibility for what happened in the Race at Home Challenge – it was a mistake,” he said. “I have no hard feelings towards anyone, and now is the time for me to look forward and get back to what I love most – racing. I just want to do the best I can for the team and help us have a good finish to the season.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity, and the trust, that NIO 333 is placing in me. The chance to race the final six races of the season – my home races – and continue my record of competing in every round to date in Formula E is very exciting.

“Berlin a great place for me. I have great memories there and a home race is always something special. I’ll miss the fans but I’m sure those watching from home will see some exciting races.

“I want to finish season six on a high and we will see what the future brings. I have competed in every race in Formula E’s history and have worked with a leading manufacturer for the last three years.

“I have a lot of experience and a lot to give the team. I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver.”

The move gives NIO one of the most experienced driver line-ups on the grid. Only Techeetah’s line-up of Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix Da Costa have more race starts between them.

The experience, particularly at Tempelhof, should come in useful when FE runs six races in just nine days.

“When the possibility of signing Daniel was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect,” said Vincent Wang, NIO 333 CEO. “As the saying goes in the Eastern world – a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold!

“We have decided to give Daniel the opporunity to make his return and we welcome him with open arms. We hope the home hero will redouble our efforts towards finishing this extraordinary season in style.”

NIO is currently bottom of the teams’ standings with no points finishes so far this season. Oliver Turvey claimed the team’s best result of 11th at Santiago in January this year.

Bethonie Waring

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