Mercedes announces withdrawal from Formula E at end of 2022

Mercedes has officially announced it will quit Formula E at the end of the 2022 season to “concentrate” on Formula 1 amid a “refocus of resource for electric vehicle development”.

Mercedes announces withdrawal from Formula E at end of 2022

As reported by Autosport last Sunday, the newly crowned FIA world champion outfit will eventually follow Audi and BMW in exiting the series in its current manufacturer capacity.

This comes despite the marque revealing last month it will shift towards offering an all-electric road car line up by 2030 as part of a £34 billion investment.

In line with this spending, Mercedes “will reallocate resources” away from its Formula E programme and apply “the lessons learned in competition to product development in series”.

Mercedes has outlined a Formula E exit will allow it to “concentrate its works motorsport activities” on Formula 1, given the championship’s status as “the fastest laboratory for developing and proving sustainable and scalable future performance technologies.”

This announcement arrives only three days after Nyck de Vries scored eighth place in the second race of the 2021 Berlin E-Prix Formula E season finale to be crowned champion.

Combined with Stoffel Vandoorne’s third place, Mercedes won the teams’ title in only its second term as a works squad, having been preceded by the HWA Racelab entry in 2018-19.

Markus Schafer, member of the board of management of Daimler, said: “At Mercedes-Benz, we have committed ourselves to fighting climate change at full force in this decade.

“This demands the accelerated transformation of our company, products and services towards an emission-free and software-driven future, and to achieve this, we must give full focus to our core activities.

“In motorsport, 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.

“It is the arena where we constantly test our technology in the most intense competition the automotive world has to offer - and the three-pointed star hardly shines brighter anywhere else.

“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.”

As a manufacturer, Mercedes initially refrained from committing to the inbound Gen3 rules in time for the soft 31 March deadline while it sought “clarification” regarding “important details regarding the structure of the series”.

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

However, it did register for the new regulations and has been present at the most recent meeting of the Technical Working Group to continue its 470bhp powertrain development.

But in the past two weeks, the Daimler board finally cemented its decision to leave.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff added: “We entered Formula E with an open mind about the series and its innovative approach to motorsport.

“A lot of hard work went into building the team and making it competitive – and we have seen an incredible group of talented women and men deliver at the highest level.

“We can be proud of our achievements and especially the double world championship won last weekend in Berlin, which will stand as an historic milestone in the long motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz.

“We will be giving everything to make sure that we finish our Formula E adventure in style.”

This decision leaves Mahindra, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, Nissan and NIO as manufacturers who have committed to the Gen3 rules that will run until the end of the 2025-26 season.

Race teams Andretti Autosport and Envision Virgin Racing are also expected to continue, while Mercedes affiliate Venturi Racing will be required to find a new powertrain partner.

Under the customer model in Formula E, manufacturers are obligated to provide an engine package in response to a formal request.

Mercedes vice-president of marketing, Bettina Fezter said: “Over the last two years, Formula E has enabled us to showcase the Mercedes-EQ brand in a highly endemic and truly innovative format.

“On a strategic level, however, Mercedes-AMG will be positioned and strengthened as our performance brand through its close alignment to our record-breaking Formula 1 team, and F1 will be our company’s works motorsport focus for the years ahead.

“We wish the Formula E championship, its stakeholders and its innovative format only the best for the future as it continues to grow, and we hope the series has a bright future.”

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