09 Sep 19

BREAKING: Guenther secures BMW drive while Da Costa parts ways

Maximilian Guenther leaves Geox Dragon to join BMW i Andretti Motorsport while seasoned Andretti and former BMW driver Antonio Felix da Costa parts ways with the German squad.

After his seeing out his debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with Geox Dragon, 22-year-old Max Guenther has secured a drive with German manufacturer BMW i Andretti Motorsport for his second campaign. 

Completing ten races for the American outfit in the 2018/19 season, Guenther finished his first season in Formula E 17th - four places above his teammate Jose-Maria Lopez. Despite his comparative lack of experience, the German driver found himself challenging for Pole twice during the season, with a best-place finish of fifth.

“I am looking forward to Maximilian Günther returning to the BMW family,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. 

“We followed his performance last season very closely. Maximilian regularly managed to get the maximum out of his car package. 

That saw him achieve some impressive results. Having a driver with a history of BMW single-seater racing is a great fit.” 

Returning to BMW after starting his career in single-seater racing in 2011 in the Formula BMW Talent Cup – BMW’s former youth development programme – where he finishing a respectable second. From there, Guenther competed in various levels of single-seater racing including Formula 3 and 2, before moving to the all-electric series in 2019. 

“It is fantastic to be part of BMW i Motorsport now,” said Guenther. “[the team] had a strong maiden season in Formula E, won the very first race and was involved in the fight for the title down to the wire. 

"That is why this switch is definitely a fantastic step for me. It is great to compete for BMW again. 

"That’s where everything started for me in single-seater racing in 2011.”

With no word of a second driver yet, Guenther is the only confirmed driver with the team for its 2019/20 campaign after the German manufacturer confirmed it would be parting ways with Antonio Felix da Costa with immediate effect. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Antonio very much for the good collaboration this past Formula E season and in the six years overall as a BMW works driver in the DTM, the WEC, in GT racing and in Formula E," said Marquardt.

"We had a great time together but agreed that a change would be good for both parties. Now we wish him all the best on his new journey.”

Da Costa parts ways

Despite racing for the team since the 2016/17 season, in a 52-race career that's seen him secure two wins and five podiums, da Costa leaves the outfit for pastures new. 

“I have always been happy and proud to be part of the BMW family,” said the Portuguese driver. 

“BMW Motorsport gave me the opportunity to drive many different race cars, and to learn an incredible amount. 

"I would also like to thank BMW i Andretti Motorsport for a great and intense time together in Formula E. 

"Although I am now moving on to face new challenges, I will always look back fondly on my time at BMW.”

With no confirmation of da Costa's next steps, speculation is rife as to what the future holds for the 28-year-old racer. After finishing the last season in sixth and, at one point, challenging for the title, time will tell where the former BMW driver will find himself.