Daniel Abt will replace Ma Quinghua in the NIO 333 Formula E team, partnering Englishman Oliver Turvey for the season finale at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
The NIO 333 Team announced on Monday that Ma would miss the Berlin finale ‘for various reasons’, that included the Covid-19 Pandemic situation restricting his arrival in Europe and also his re-entry into China.
“When the possibility of signing Daniel for the Berlin finale was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect,” commented Vincent Wang, NIO 333 FE Team CEO. “As the saying goes in the eastern world, ‘a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold’, but the controversies surrounding him during the Race at Home Challenge reached quite a high level and will bring two opposite opinions.
“In the end, after discussing with some key figures of the paddock, we have decided to give Daniel an opportunity to return to Formula E. We welcome him with open arms into the team, We hope the home hero will redouble our efforts to finish this extraordinary season in style!”
Under normal circumstances, German Abt would have been competing for the Audi Formula E team but was dismissed under controversial circumstances for having a professional Esports gamer stand in for him for the Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF.
“It was a mistake and I took full responsibility for it,” commented Abt in the NIO 333 Team press release. “But now it is time for me to look forward and go back to what I love most: RACING. Therefore, I am very grateful for the opportunity and the trust NIO 333 is giving me. For me it is not about revenge, as I have no hard feelings towards anyone. I just want to do the best I can for the team and help the team to have a good finish to the season.”
Congratulations on the signing of @Daniel_Abt for the @FIAFormulaE races in Berlin, @NIO333FormulaE. Daniel often proved his performance at Tempelhof. We wish him well and look forward to competing with him on track.#ABBFormulaE https://t.co/hXPgSH8mhd
— Audi Sport (@audisport) July 1, 2020
Abt is unquestionably one of the most talented drivers in motorsport, having won the ADAC Formel Masters as well as being GP3 runner-up and securing two victories, two pole positions and ten podium finishes in Formula E.
The challenge now is to help his new team to finish the season on a high and the German will be working hard and using all his experience in an attempt to secure as many points available in the remaining races.
“I have competed in every race in Formula E’s history and I have been working with a leading manufacturer for the last 3 years,” added Abt. “Therefore, I have a lot of experience and input for the team. I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver.
“I will go to the UK in the middle of July to test the NIO 333 FE-005 car. There are a lot of things to learn and adapt to as the team members, the way of working and all the systems are completely new to me. We will use the time as best as we can. Personally, I will prepare myself mentally and physically for the hard challenge with 6 races almost in a row.”
I am extremely happy to tell you that I will finish season 6 of Formula E together with @nio333formulae 😊💥 Announcing my comeback after the tough last weeks I had just feels amazing…. https://t.co/wU1HVguakX
— Daniel Abt (@Daniel_Abt) July 1, 2020