Austrian DTM driver Philip Eng could partner German Max Günther at the BMW Andretti team next season after it was announced that Alexander Sims would be moving on to join Mahindra.
News of Günther’s renewal and Sims departure were confirmed this morning, and despite there being no official word until today, it seemed inevitable that the 23-year-old would stay with the team after a number of eye-catching performances this season including wins in Santiago and Berlin.
Günther joined BMW following a rollercoaster rookie season with Dragon, during which he was benched for three rounds in favour of ex-F1 driver Felipe Nasr. After returning to his seat in Rome, Günther impressed the Formula E paddock with a number of combative drives and went on to outscore his more experienced team-mate Jose Maria Lopez during the remainder of the season.
His maiden BMW campaign has been far from a polished one – his three podiums were his only points finishes of the season – but he’s shown enough raw speed and application to convince the German manufacturer that he’s a safe bet for the future.
Günther said: “I’m very happy to continue racing with BMW i Andretti Motorsport in Formula E and to fight for the title together. I felt very comfortable from the first moment I joined the BMW factory driver line-up last year. And I’m very happy to be a part of the BMW family in the future as well! We were on the podium three times in our first year together, twice as winners. In the drivers’ championship we battled for second place until the last race. That shows how strong our package was.
“Formula E will become a FIA World Championship from next season and the award of the first World Championship title is an additional motivation for us. We will continue to work hard and do everything we can to set an exclamation mark next year as well and achieve further successes.
BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt said: “I’m really looking forward to racing in the next Formula E season together with Maximilian Günther. Having such a focused, professional and fast driver at BMW i Andretti Motorsport even at such a young age is very valuable for the team. With his two victories in Santiago and Berlin he has delivered real highlights.
“Maximilian will build on his experiences from season 6, the team and he will be even better attuned to each other. All this will hopefully lead to even more success on the race track.”
With one half of BMW’s Season 7 lineu-up confirmed, Austrian Philip Eng has emerged as the frontrunner to be Günther’s team-mate next season.
The 30-year-old Austrian is a BMW factory driver and has raced for several years in a variety of categories including the Blancpain GT Championship, WEC, Le Mans, and more recently, DTM.
Eng scored his first DTM victory last season at Zolder to place sixth overall in the drivers’ standings. With uncertainty surrounding BMW’s future DTM participation and the end of their WEC GTE programme, Eng is one of a number of works BMW drivers keen to lock down their future plans beyond the end of this season.