ABT Sportsline has become the first Formula E entrant to reveal its driver pairing, with former F1 racer Lucas di Grassi joining GP2 racer Daniel Abt behind the wheel.

The German outfit is the first of the series' ten teams to have presented its line-up, despite the inaugural Formula E event not taking place until 13 September, when a fleet of the innovative electrical racers do battle in Beijing.

"In Daniel and Lucas, we've signed our absolutely ideal pairing," team owner Hans-J?rgen Abt commented, "My thanks go to Audi who released Lucas for the Formula E commitment. He's been involved in the development of the series right from the beginning and is one of the most sought-after names on the scene - we're proud that he's opted for us."

The 29-year old Brazilian competed in the 2010 F1 season with Virgin Racing, before turning his hand to sportscars with Audi and playing a key role in the development of the Formula E racer. He remains a part of Audi's World Endurance Championship line-up, having been promoted to the #1 car as Allan McNish's replacement, but is excited to be able to continue his role in Formula E.

"I'm delighted that Audi is giving me the opportunity to drive in sportscar racing as well as in Formula E," di Grassi noted, "I've been watching ABT Sportsline on track for a long time - it's a very professional and cool outfit, and it's great that it worked out. We've got ambitious plans."

di Grassi's first Formula E test with ABT is scheduled for June, when he will be joined by his 21-year old team-mate. Abt is poised to start his second GP2 season in 2014, having previously finished as runner-up in the 2012 GP3 Championship but, as the son of team owner and CEO Hans-J?rgen Abt, the German was one of the first applicants for a seat in Formula E.

"I was really thrilled with the ideas of Formula E from the very beginning - and obviously even more about ABT Sportsline competing with a team of their own," he admitted, "That I'm part of the line-up in the inaugural season is both an honour and a huge challenge."

Although the inaugural event is not due for some time, preparations for the first Formula E season are already in full swing. In May, the ten teams are scheduled to move into their new state-of-the-art headquarters at Donington Park, where the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E cars will be prepared for initial track tests.

"All our plans for Formula E are perfectly on track," sports director Thomas Biermaier confirmed, "The two drivers we'd been wishing to sign are on board and our discussions with partners, sponsors, engineers and mechanics are making very good progress as well."

 

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