Mercedes has joined its rivals Audi and BMW in announcing that it will field a factory-backed Formula E entry. It will also leave DTM.
Unlike Audi which will debut in the 2017/2018 season and BMW which will enter the championship in 2018/2019, Mercedes will enter the open-wheeled electric series for Season 6 in 2019/2020. The marque’s DTM efforts will come to a close at the end of 2018.
Speaking about the decision to enter Formula E, vice president of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, Dr Jens Thiemer, said it will act as the perfect step before launching its fleet of all-electric vehicles.
“Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label. 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,” he said.
Mercedes-Benz has competed in 26 seasons of DTM and in that time claimed 183 victories, 128 pole positions and 50 podium finishes. It has also won 10 drivers’ championships.
“Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” said 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.”