Formula E

WEC clash: Kelvin van der Linde replaces Nico Müller at the ABT home race in Berlin

Svenja König

Svenja König

Sheldon-van-der-Linde-returns-to-Formula-E

Kelvin Van der Linde is celebrating his comeback in Formula E at the Berlin E-Prix. As the official ABT Cupra test and development driver, he stood in for Robin Frijns for three races last season following a hand injury and is now replacing his team-mate at the time, Nico Müller, who is unable to attend.

Due to a parallel event in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), Nico Müller will miss the Berlin E-Prix. After achieving the best result for ABT Cupra since returning to Formula E at the last race weekend in Misano and also attracting attention with strong partial results at the previous race weekends, this is a painful loss for ABT Cupra ahead of the home race:

"Nico is in extremely strong form at the moment, so it obviously hurts a little to be without him for two races. Nevertheless, we don't want to put any obstacles in his way for his parallel commitment in the WEC and have therefore given him official clearance," says ABT CEO and Team Principal Thomas Biermaier. The Swiss driver will contest the 6-hour race at Spa with Peugeot instead of the Berlin E-Prix.

Van der Linde: "Really looking forward to meeting the fans"

He will be replaced by Kelvin van der Linde, who is mainly involved in the DTM and the GT3 programme for ABT Sportsline. He has also been a reserve driver for Formula E since last season and, in addition to countless test and simulator drives, has also been involved in racing in this role: After Robin Frijns injured his hand in Mexico City last season, van der Linde took over his cockpit for a full three races.

So he already knows the team, the car and the processes of the Allgäu-based racing team and is therefore the logical choice as a replacement driver. "In Kelvin, we are in the fortunate position of having a driver who is familiar with Formula E, our team and the current generation of the race car, and who has already completed three races for us," Biermaier continued.

 
 
 
 
 
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After Diriyah and Hyderabad 2023, there are now two home races on the programme for him, as the teams are not allowed to change drivers from Saturday to Sunday at the Berlin E-Prix. "I'm really looking forward to my comeback in Formula E, especially of course to the many fans and the special location in Berlin," says van der Linde. "I've already spent many hours in the simulator with the team and have been on the Formula E race tracks, but of course it's something completely different to drive myself. My aim is to play my part in the team's upward trend. And maybe we'll even pull off a little surprise." The team's best Formula E result is currently 16th place, which it hopes to beat.

ABT Cupra is not the only team affected by the clash of dates with the WEC. The same fate has already befallen Envision and Mahindra, who have already nominated Paul Aron, Joel Eriksson and Jordan King as their replacement riders ahead of the race in Misano.

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