A week on from sweeping the driver and manufacturer championships at Formula E’s Season 7 finale in Berlin, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it will withdraw from the all-electric championship at the end of next season.
Mercedes took over the HWA Racelab team for Season 6 and claimed its first win with Stoffel Vandoorne in that season’s final round. It carried that momentum into Season 7, culminating in Nyck de Vries winning the title.
News of the German manufacturer’s planned exit comes just weeks after Mercedes announced that it is preparing to go all-electric at the end of the decade, and the cancellation of the Formula E program will free up resources that will be shifted towards this accelerated move towards amplification. Mercedes’ Formula 1 program will become the sole focus of its factory motorsport activity.
“Formula E has been a good driver for proving our expertise and establishing our Mercedes-EQ brand, but in future we will keep pushing technological progress — especially on the electric drive side — focusing on Formula 1,” said Markus Schaefer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “It is the arena where we constantly test our technology in the most intense competition the automotive world has to offer. F1 offers rich potential for technology transfer, and our team and the entire series will achieve net-zero status by the end of the decade.”
Mercedes follows fellow German manufacturers Audi and BMW in preparing to exit the series ahead of the arrival of the Gen3 cars for Season 9. BMW partner Andretti is planning to stay on in FE after BMW’s departure, and Mercedes-EQ team principal Ian James said he’s hopeful of being able to make a similar arrangement.
“We have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the support of Mercedes-Benz in building a class-leading Formula E operation over the past few seasons,” he said.
“I would like to thank the company for its trust and support in our journey so far – and all the way through to what we hope will be a successful conclusion to Season 8 with a strong championship challenge. Although Mercedes-Benz has decided to leave, we recognize the value and power of Formula E; therefore, we will be exploring the best options for the team to continue competing beyond Season 8.”