Mercedes shocked the motorsports world yesterday when it announced it would leave DTM in 2018 in favor of a factory Formula E effort. This throws the whole DTM series up in the air, since Mercedes is one of just three automakers participating, beside BMW and Audi. Autosport reports that the other two, Audi and BMW, are now evaluating whether they’ll continue in DTM. Audi motorsport head Dieter Gass told Autosport that its participation in DTM is important to the company, but Mercedes’ exit will force them to reevaluate.
In response to Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s decision to leave the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the end of 2018, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt admitted in an official statement that the decision is a “heavy blow for the DTM.”
“It is with great regret that we acknowledge that Mercedes will end their involvement in the DTM after the 2018 season,” explained Marquardt.
“Now it is time to evaluate the situation and discuss scenarios for the future with the ITR, whether based on the existing regulations or on different ones, such as the GT regulations. The fans certainly deserve the future of the DTM to be fought for. That’s what we will do.”
The three big Germans will go head-to-head once again in the near future, but this time in the fast-growing Formula E championship.
“We look forward to seeing Mercedes-Benz again in Formula E soon. We have been represented on this attractive, innovative platform right from the start, and are delighted that more and more manufacturers are joining us.”
DTM was last a two-make series between 2007 and 2011 with Mercedes and Audi duking it out alone. BMW rejoined DTM in 2012, and has participated in the series ever since.