Dennis to remain with Andretti in Formula E after BMW's exit

Breakout Formula E rookie star Jake Dennis has been signed by the newly independent Andretti Autosport race team to contest the 2022 season following its split from BMW. 

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Dennis was the somewhat unexpected winner of an internal BMW shootout, which included DTM drivers Philipp Eng and Lucas Auer, to replace Mahindra Racing-bound Alexander Sims. 

With two wins in his maiden campaign, scored in Valencia and London, Dennis now enters the Berlin E-Prix season finale fourth in the standings - 14 points shy of leader Nyck de Vries. 

The double-header in the German capital marks the final outing for BMW, the manufacturer having joined the series in a works capacity to partner Michael Andretti’s outfit in 2018. 

BMW made the shock announcement a day after its driver Maximilian Gunther topped the Valencia pre-season test that it would exit Formula E - along with Audi - having "essentially exhausted the opportunities" to develop its technologies in the championship. 

With the decision coming from a boardroom level, Motorsport.com understands the Andretti Autosport top brass were only informed of the pending news minutes before it went public. 

Although Andretti Autosport revealed it would continue to run with a customer BMW powertrain for next season, it was initially without a driver pairing as both Dennis and teammate Gunther are contracted to BMW and not to the race team. 

But the Anglo-American squad has now secured one-half of its line-up, having signed Dennis for the final campaign of the current Gen2 machines. 

Dennis said: “I’m just super excited and honoured really. 

“It was my goal to obviously always stay with the team, and I think they had the same intentions after such a strong year.  

Team principal Roger Griffiths added: “Jake has shown in his rookie season he already has what is necessary to win in Formula E and his knowledge of both the BMW powertrain and associated systems along with the Andretti team operations means that this continued relationship should bode well for success in the coming season.” 

Retaining Dennis for next season also increases his chances of remaining on the grid for the advent of the Gen3 cars in 2022-23 as teams would prefer to lock in drivers for at least two years to aid the development of the new 470bhp and 120kg lighter machinery.  

The future of Gunther at the team is yet to be finalised.  

Andretti said: “As a founding team of Formula E, we’re as committed as ever to the series, and everything it stands for.  

“[Next season] will look different for us as we return to an independent team but announcing Jake’s continuation will provide strong continuity and is just the first step in building out a new and exciting direction. 

"We’re excited to welcome back a great deal of the staff and crew.” 

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