Daniel Abt is a racing driver from Germany who is currently competing with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in the FIA Formula E Championship. He's a regular in the electric single-seater competition from the inaugural season.
Previously in a career, he made a way through different single-seater ladder series from ADAC Formel Masters to GP2 Series. His greatest success was the championship title in the 2009 ADAC Formel Masters and second place in the 2012 GP3 Series.
Racing is the Abt family tradition
Daniel was born on December 3, 1992, in Kempten, Bavaria. He comes from a famous family that has a long history in the German motorsport, so it was logical that he will continue that tradition.
He began to drive karting at the age of six and immediately made an impact by winning many races and competitions. His progress was quick and when he was 16, he switched to ADAC Formula Masters, driving for his father’s team – Abt Sportsline. He scored three podium finishes in his rookie season before taking the 8th place overall. The same year Daniel started his collaboration with another valuable partner. Abt was accepted as a candidate by the Deutsche Post Speed Academy.
ADAC Formula Masters champion in 2009
In 2009, Daniel’s performance became much better. With more experience, he won the title in the ADAC Formula Masters in great style.
Abt won 8 out of 16 races, had other two podiums, seven pole positions, and three fastest laps. At the end of the year, he was 36 points ahead of the runner-up Klaus Bachler.
Formula 3 debut in 2010
Abt switched to German Formula 3 in 2010 signing with Van Amersfoort Racing. He already experienced the series in the previous season, driving in two races as a guest for Performance Racing. His first full-time season in Formula 3 was a good one since he finished as a vice-champion.
Daniel won two races, finished 2nd in five races and thrice finished 3rd. He was only eight points behind the champion Tom Dillmann. The season culminated with a first run in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.
The next stop in Abt’s career was Formula 3 Euro Series. The competition was at the higher level and Daniel gained a lot of experience but the results in 2011 weren’t especially good for the youngest driver on the grid. However, four podium finishes were enough for the 7th place in the Drivers’ championship.
Move to GP3 Series in 2012
Abt signed with Lotus GP team to compete in 2012 GP3 Series. That was another good season for the Kempten-born driver as he won the races at Spa and Monza and scored other five podium finishes before taking the 2nd place in the final standings, only two points behind the champion Mitch Evans.
The same year Abt also appeared as a guest in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and German Formula 3, while in Macau Grand Prix he was 12th.
Daniel spent two years in GP2 Series
After impressive performances in the GP3 Series, Daniel caught the eyes of many big teams in the higher ranks. He signed with a famous ART Grand Prix, one of the best teams in the GP2 Series. His rookie year in the competition which is a springboard to Formula 1 was a poor one. He scored points in only four out of 22 races before finishing 22nd overall.
In 2014, Abt stayed in the series but this time as a driver of the German team Hilmer Motorsport. Unfortunately, it was another relatively disappointing year because Daniel finished 16th overall, scoring points on five occasions in the second half of the campaign.
Entering the inaugural Formula E championship in 2014
In 2014, Abt raced in the newly-formed FIA Formula E Championship where he managed to get off the starting blocks in a promising way. He became a driver of his family team alongside Brazilian Lucas di Grassi. He did an IndyCar post-season test for the successful US team Andretti Autosport. In his first year, Abt finished 11th overall with the 3rd place in Miami ePrix as the highlight of the season.
Le Mans 24h debut with Rebellion Racing
Another highlight of the year was a debut in 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove in LMP1 class for Rebellion Racing alongside Alexandre Imperatori and Dominik Kraihamer and they finished 17th in the race and first in the class of private teams.
Abt was a member of the team in another three races of the FIA World Endurance Championship but their results weren’t impressive.
Looking for the first win in Formula E with Audi
Abt’s second season in the electric formula racing was better than the previous one because he moved up to the 7th place in the Drivers’ championship. The 3rd place at Long Beach ePrix and 2nd places in Berlin and London were his best results and were important in the team’s attempt to finish the season as a runner-up.
ADAC GT Masters season with Bentley
In 2016, Abt also spent a full season in the ADAC GT Masters. That was his first experience in the sportscar racing and the results were variable.
Driving for Bentley Team ABT, Daniel picked points in five races, with the 2nd place at Red Bull Ring as a highlight, and he finished the season in 19th place. His partners in the #7 Bentley Continental were Christer Jons (three rounds) and Jordan Pepper (four rounds).
No wins or podiums in the third Formula E season
Daniel stayed with ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team for the 2016-2017 Formula E season, resolute to continue his progress and eventually score a maiden win in the series. Unfortunately, it didn't happen.
Without wins or podiums, he finished 8th in the points. His teammate Lucas di Grassi became the champion.
Stripped of maiden FE victory for 25th birthday
Abt stayed with the Abt Schaeffler team, which received bigger Audi support, in the fourth Formula E season (2017/2018). His teammate was Lucas di Grassi again.
Daniel finished fifth in the season opening race at the streets of Hong Kong. A day later, on his 25th birthday, he crossed the finish line as the winner in the second race of the Hong Kong ePrix, but he was disqualified following post-race technical inspection.
Two Formula E wins in the fourth season
Daniel finally clinched his maiden Formula E victory in the fifth round in Mexico City. Then, in the ninth round at Berlin, he added one more win to his account. He ended a season with two podiums in season's finale at the streets of New York, taking fifth place in the final standings what is his best result in four seasons in Formula E. He contributed to the Teams' championship title for Audi, the first in four seasons.
For the fifth season of Formula E, both Abt and Di Grassi stayed with Audi. Abt was on the podium two times, in Chile and France, finishing seventh in the final standings.