Drivers' Programme Profiles: Daniel Abt

Daniel Abt joins the fold as a driver with a breadth of experience across race series’ at the highest level in motorsport. He rose to prominence after sealing the ADAC Formel Masters title in 2009, progressing into Formula 3 before stepping up to GP3, where he was twice a race winner and narrowly missed out on the 2012 crown.

Two seasons in GP2 followed before a step up to Formula E for its inaugural season with Audi Sport ABT. The 26-year-old has driven for the German marque in the championship since then, and has tallied two race wins and ten podiums along the way.

The prospect of such a revolutionary new series has captured the imagination of the German, and despite having had little off-road experience so far in his career, Abt is sure he can successfully adapt to compete in what he sees as being the adventure of a lifetime.

“I am a big fan of projects that might look a bit crazy at first sight!” said Abt. “Formula E was a first for everyone involved and we’re following a similar path now with Extreme E. I have full trust in the people behind the project and I am very happy to be on-board.

“I expect Extreme E to be the biggest adventure I have been a part of so far in my life. Travelling to all these locations for a good reason, and competing against other teams and drivers at the highest level is an amazing challenge. By all accounts, the ODYSSEY 21 is a real beast, so I can’t wait to get to drive it for the first time!

“I have raced in many different categories but have zero experience in off-road racing so far – apart from the fact that my family has a long and successful history in motocross, if that counts! That said, I am able to adapt quickly to new challenges so I have no worries there.”

Extreme E, which unveiled the Nepalese Himalayas as the fourth of its five locations last week, is set to break the mould in motorsport and entertainment with its E-SUVs racing across five of the world’s most remote and formidable environments that have already been affected by climate change or human interference. The goal: raising awareness, driving sustainability and inspiring action.

That goal is a key reason behind Abt’s involvement in the Drivers’ Programme, and he is eager to use the platform, should he take up a spot on the Season 1 grid, to spread the message.

“Extreme E will be something completely different anything we’ve seen before in our racing life – and that’s the beauty of it,” he continued.

“What I really like about Extreme E is that we will a whole new audiences, and I am sure our mission will reach out to people outside of the motorsport sphere.

“I think everyone should contribute to the fight against climate change, and this of course goes especially for my generation.

“A lot of young people demonstrate on the streets, others get involved in politics or NGOs – I have the chance to promote new and clean technologies and raise awareness of the challenges faced in environments all over the world through a project like Extreme E.”