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Mercedes quits DTM for Formula E

NEWS STORY
24/07/2017

In a shock move, Mercedes has announced that it is to leave DTM after 26 years for Formula E.

The move comes as part of the Stuttgart giant's 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.

This new approach will see Mercedes-Benz competing at both ends of the motorsport spectrum: 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 'new' DTM was founded in 2000, Mercedes has enjoyed 18 continuous seasons of great racing," said the team is a statement, "spectacular battles and close-matched competition. We were lucky enough to celebrate championship success and learned how to handle defeat. And we loved every second of it.

"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."

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). With our fans, we have celebrated 183 race wins, 128 pole positions and 540 podium finishes.

"Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close. 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," concluded Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars Dr Jens Thiemer. "It is now time to start on a new path."

"Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label," explained Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz. "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."

"In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects," added Wolff. "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."

"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," said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. "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."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by F One, 26/07/2017 18:17

"Electric cars are still a totally impractical joke in every way and Formula E is the biggest joke of them all."

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2. Posted by Uffen, 25/07/2017 19:55

"I don't wish to start something, but I must respond to OxfordF1Fan. I am pleased that you like your Tesla. I, however, have tried an electric car and I did not enjoy it. Many of the things you appreciate, I do not. I did not like the quiet, the lack of shifting, the linear torque delivery, etc. The range available, while improving, is a turn off. Refueling takes too long. I am too often away from my driveway to then be tied to the few recharging stations sprinkled around (mostly) large cities. I don't have Tescos where I live, but looking around I see virtually zero electric vehicles. One or two Teslas at rush hour, maybe, but that's it. We both agree that Bernie got out at the right time, though! "

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3. Posted by nonickname, 25/07/2017 17:35

"Every day I appreciate being 72 more and more.I remember when F1 was power,ingenuity and balls. The cars could and did kill you. Now we move on to the serene end of the world, some in Tesla's and some in electric wheel chairs."

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4. Posted by OxfordF1Fan, 25/07/2017 13:04

"So, as a lifelong F1 fan, born & bred in motorsport valley and with numerous friends & family either working or have worked in F1 teams, FOTA forum visitor, etc etc, let me say this:

I bought a Tesla and my god, it is the best thing since proverbial sliced bread.

I am NEVER, EVER going back to an ICE vehicle. They now feel like something that belongs in a museum.

For F1; it has no relevance to road cars now. My car doesn't go VRROOOOOOOOOOM any more, I like my silencemobile and if I want to boot it and do 0- 60 inside 3 seconds, I can. Shell/Mobil/etc - who? I don't need a filling station anymore. Electricity is electricity. No need for "premium" or additives marketing BS to the fuel.

My driveway is my filling station, and at 7 for 500 miles, what's not to like?

I was having this conversation with a well known F1 car/chassis designer who happens to be at my athletics club. I took him for a spin in the Tesla and he just said "Jesus Christ. It is game over for fossil fuels when these things get cheap enough".

The world is changing - look how many Leafs, Zoes, Amperas and Tesla cars are out there when you drive to Tesco this weekend. Go take one for a test drive, even if you're a died in the wool petrolhead like I was. They are great fun to drive, stupid quick (even a Leaf!) and cost little to run.

Formula E presents an opportunity to see what electric cars can do, and whilst there isn't the glitz of F1 yet, the racing is good, cheap to watch in person and in city streets, not the back of beyond in Korea or wherever F1 is ripping off a Government this time.

So whilst I will continue watching F1, at least until it goes to 100% pay-TV, the sheen is wearing off and it needs to take a serious look at its offering, business model and future direction.

Maybe Bernie got out at the right time.....
"

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 25/07/2017 9:06

"With all the manufacturers pushing ahead with there electric and hybrid programmes, how long does the "normal" petrol and diesal cars we are buying now have?
Do agree with Chris Ropers comment, Formula Ones relevance to road cars really is not valid anymore, it has to be based on the show, looks - sound - racing."

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6. Posted by nonickname, 25/07/2017 7:39

"And it could be the first step in leaving F1 as a constructor and becoming just an engine supplier."

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7. Posted by Chris Roper, 24/07/2017 21:53

"I actually glanced at the calendar to make sure it wasn't April.
Certainly an endorsement for Formula-E and it could be good for F1 in the long run.
If the manufacturers see Formula-E as the road relevant series thay may well stop forcing artificial road relevance on F1."

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