Mercedes-Benz has been a core part of DTM since its relaunch in 2020, but starting with 2019, the exciting European race will continue with only two manufacturers, BMW and Audi. Instead of the DTM race, Mercedes will focus its efforts on joining Formula E. “Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” said Mercedes motorsport boss 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.”
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Between the modern DTM and its predecessor the ITC, Mercedes has won 10 drivers’ championships, 13 team titles and six manufacturers’ crowns. Mercedes-Benz cars Vice President of Marketing Dr Jens Theimer acknowledged that the move marks the end of an era.
“Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close,” he said. “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.”
The agreement signed by Mercedes and Formula E Holdings late last year was originally for a season five (2018/19) entry, but instead the German auto giant will make its debut in season six.
Wolff explained this was to “give us time to properly understand” Formula E and “prepare for our entry in the right way.”
“In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects,” he said.
“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.
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag commented: “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 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.”
FIA President Jean Todt added: “I’m very happy to see yet another manufacturer committing to the FIA Formula E Championship.
“Mercedes-Benz has been competing in motorsport since the very beginning, and in joining this newest chapter of racing history – Formula E – it shows that the vision and concept of the championship is aligned with how manufacturers want to develop electric vehicle technologies, and bring these innovations to audiences around the world.”