Maro Engel out of Mercedes' 2018 DTM line-up to focus on Formula E

Mercedes has announced Maro Engel will not continue as part of its DTM line-up in 2018, and will instead focus on Formula E and GT racing

Maro Engel out of Mercedes' 2018 DTM line-up to focus on Formula E

Engel, who had an initial four-season stint in the DTM between 2008 and '11, returned to the championship last year and scored his maiden win at Moscow Raceway.

The 32-year-old had also joined FE with Venturi, and dovetailed commitments in the two categories last year - skipping the Paris ePrix when they clashed.

He will now prioritise the all-electric series, alongside outings in Mercedes GT3 machinery, and vacate his spot in the six-car DTM line-up.

"I still had a small score to settle after my first stint in the DTM, which I was able to put right last year by taking my maiden win in Moscow," Engel said.

"I'm very grateful to the team for making that possible. Thank you very much to the entire team for a fantastic time."

Engel currently sits 16th in the standings for the current FE campaign, which will clash twice with DTM rounds in the coming months.

Mercedes will depart the touring car series at the end of the current year to concentrate on its planned works FE entry for the 2019/20 season.

"It's a pity that the Formula E and the DTM racing calendars overlap to some extent this season," Engel added.

"Unfortunately, there's no easy solution, because I would love to be lining up again in the DTM, especially as it's Mercedes-AMG's final year in the series.

"With an eye to the future, though, we decided that I would concentrate fully on Formula E and GT racing in 2018.

"However, I intend to be at some of the team's races and hope they can bring the title back to Stuttgart and Affalterbach in their swansong year."

Engel is the second driver to withdraw from Mercedes' DTM line-up, after Robert Wickens departed for a switch to IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Engel's Venturi FE team-mate Edoardo Mortara is also a Mercedes-contracted DTM driver, and is expected to remain in the series for 2018.

Ex-Formula 1 driver and 2015 DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein and Mercedes reserve driver Daniel Juncadella are the leading candidates to fill the vacant seats in the six-car Mercedes DTM roster.

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