Mercedes‑Benz announced a strategic repositioning of its motorsport activities: the company will conclude its participation in DTM at the end of 2018 and enter Formula E in the 2019/20 season.
Mercedes-Benz will thus compete in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport combining high technology and the most demanding competitive challenge; and in Formula E, which embodies the transformation that is underway in the automotive industry.
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). Mercede-Benz celebrated 183 race wins, 128 pole positions and 540 podium finishes.
Electric mobility is already of strategic importance to the company today and this will only increase in the future. Formula E offers a perfect platform on which to demonstrate the competitiveness of the technology brand EQ in a racing environment, in the area of battery electric powertrains.
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.—Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz
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.—Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Executive Director and managing partner of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
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. 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.—Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag
Audi has also announced its participation in Formula E with a factory team. (Earlier post.)