Daniel Abt joins NIO 333 Formula E team

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The NIO 333 Formula E outfit has today announced that Daniel Abt will step in for the fully-electric series season-ending six races in Berlin, replacing the Oxford’s team regular driver Ma Qinghua.

The German racing driver Daniel Abt was axed by Audi after it had been discovered that he handed over his virtual seat to a pro gamer. Despite driving for six seasons for Audi, the Ingolstadt-based car-maker decided to part ways with the former GP3 driver.

Abt will, however, make a quick return to the scene as the NIO 333 outfit announced that he will partner Oliver Turvey in the remainder of the season. The German will replace Ma Qinghua who is unable to attend the six Berlin rounds due to travel limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reflecting on what happened during the virtual racing, Abt has confessed that it has been a mistake to hand over his virtual wheel without making it transparent, but he hopes that he can end the season on a high note after the misfortune incident.

"I take full responsibility for what happened in the Race at Home Challenge - it was a mistake. 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."

Following the coronavirus-induced shutdown, the fully-electric single-seater series will finish its sixth season in a six-race showdown in Germany’s capital Berlin. The 27-year-old driver has great memories from Germany’s biggest city after winning the race at the Tempelhof airfield in 2018 and posting a second-place finish in 2016.

"Berlin is a great place for me," said Abt. "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 6 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,” Abt concluded.