January 23, 2022

Porsche set to sign Abt technical director as new Formula E chief

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According to Autosport/Motorsport.com’s sister site Motorsport-Total.com, Modlinger has departed his role at Abt – where he has worked since 2018 – to take up his new position with Porsche amid a new management structure at the team.

Following the departure of Pascal Zurlinden – Porsche’s former head of factory motorsport – last year for personal reasons, the German manufacturer has elected to break down the lead role between its Formula E and WEC LMDh programmes.

Urs Kuratle was hence put in charge of the LMDh operation, which will debut in 2023, while Modlinger is set to be announced as his counterpart at the helm of the Formula E team ahead of the season-opening Diriyah E-Prix.

Modlinger has extensive experience within DTM, having joined BMW for its successful DTM return in 2012 as Bruno Spengler won the title for the marque.

He then moved to Audi the year after, working as Mattias Ekstrom’s race engineer until his promotion to become Audi’s technical director in 2017 – overseeing its march to all three DTM titles that year.

Moving to Abt in 2018 to become its technical director, Modlinger also doubled up at its Audi-backed Formula E team as its head of track operations, helping it secure the teams’ title.

Following Abt’s departure from Formula E after Audi’s withdrawal from the championship, Modlinger was responsible for its DTM and Extreme E operations, once again working with Ekstrom in the latter in its Cupra-partnered entry.

Modlinger will work with the team’s head of operations Amiel Lindesay at Porsche ahead of the championship’s final season running the Gen2 machinery, and will oversee the transition to the Gen3 car’s first season in 2022-23.

Porsche is currently assessing a return to Formula 1 as a powertrain supplier for the expected change in regulations in 2026, where the hybrid components are set for revision as the MGU-H is understood to be on the chopping block.

Although Porsche’s long-term Formula E plans are unknown, the team is at least committed to the first two seasons run under the Gen3 regulations, although motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach is lobbying for battery technology to be opened up in the series.

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