- Daniel Abt [Copyright: NIO]

Abt will replace Ma at NIO for rest of Formula E season due to travel troubles

The Chinese-backed team is unable to travel to Europe.

Daniel Abt will replace Ma Qing Hua at NIO for rest of the FIA Formula E Championship due to travel restrictions because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Few days back, NIO announced that Ma won't be competing for the rest of the 2019/20 Formula E season due to the travel restrictions because of COVID-19 pandemic. It noted that its China-based team members won't be available as well.

Therefore, NIO is to use its UK members for all the work in the six races to take place in Berlin which will conclude the 2019/20 Formula E season. As for the driver change, former Audi driver Abt will replace Ma and will race alongside Oliver Turvey.

Abt was dropped by Audi due to online game controversy and replaced by Rene Rast. The German was linked to the seat at NIO as reports emerged of Ma not racing. This is a respite for the German, who found support for the harsh punishment.

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

"Berlin is a great place for me. 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. I have a lot of experience and a lot to give the team. I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver."

"We have certainly experienced some ups and downs during the first season of the regrouped NIO 333 FE team," said Vincent Wang. "When the plan to resume the championship was announced, we were all very excited to return, the long pause of the season made us miss the battles on the track, especially with the team making significant progress since Marrakech.

"However, due to the number of restrictions, Ma and the Shanghai team members, will be unable to attend the race. It is quite unfortunate, but we will continue to assist remotely. Ma will also be present during the live event with our fans as well as providing support to the team on-site.

"When the possibility of signing Daniel Abt was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect. As the saying goes in the Eastern world - a prodigal who returns is more precious than gold.

"We have decided to give Daniel the opportunity to make his return and we welcome him with open arms. We hope the home hero will redouble our efforts towards finishing this extraordinary season in style."

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[Image courtesy: NIO] [Note: The story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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