In a shock of an announcement, Mercedes-Benz has decided to step away from the DTM at the end of 2018 and to start Formula E in the 2019/20 season. This shift puts Mercedes-Benz fully committed to Formula 1 and Formula E.
Their sole purpose is to fully be active in both races where technologies are pushed to their boundaries including Formula E where new frontier technology is being tested.
“Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” commented Toto Wolff. “I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time. Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves.”
Since the DTM was founded in 1988, there have been 26 racing seasons during which Mercedes-Benz has won 10 drivers’, 13 team and six manufacturer titles (DTM + ITC combined). With our fans, we have celebrated 183 race wins, 128 pole positions and 540 podium finishes.
“Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close. We look back with pride on the commitment of our teams, drivers, partners and the many people behind the scenes, who so often made the series a fascinating platform for our customers and for fans of our brand,” concluded Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars Dr Jens Thiemer. “It is now time to start on a new path.”
Many automakers are focusing on new technologies such as electric mobility and Mercedes-Benz sees it as of great strategic importance. Being in Formula E would definitely provide a perfect platform for the company to test out their competitiveness and also their technology in a racing environment specifically for battery electric powertrains.
“Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label,” explained Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz. “Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing.”
Toto Wolff views Formula E as a brand new form of racing that reflects a rapidly changing automotive landscape.
“In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects. The combination of Formula 1 and Formula E delivers that. Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series. I am pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.”
“Today is a great day as we welcome Mercedes to the Formula E family – adding to the increasing number of manufacturers joining the electric revolution,” said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. “This step shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport but the whole automotive industry. We’re witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads. Formula E is the championship that embodies that change, and together with all our teams and manufacturers we’ll keep pushing for technologies to have better and more affordable electric cars.”