Why Mercedes is backing two McLaren F1 outcasts
Mercedes will be hoping to emulate its run of Formula 1 success when it makes its debut in Formula E's sixth season later this year - and the drivers it has chosen to lead the way will be seeking glory in pastures new
Now there are four drivers who can say they race a Silver Arrows.
Where before it was just Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas racing works Mercedes single-seaters, now they will be joined - via a completely separate series - by Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries.
This pair will form the first driver line-up for Mercedes' new venture in ABB FIA Formula E.
They go back a long way, racing against each other in karting as they hail from neighbouring countries Belgium and the Netherlands. They have also worked together before, as both were McLaren Formula 1 juniors for many years, with Vandoorne starting 41 grands prix for the team between 2016 and '18.
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When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin
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After clinching the Formula E title at the Berlin finale, Nyck de Vries is a driver in demand. Although Mercedes would love to keep a reigning champion at the team, the allure of a Williams F1 drive may be too much for de Vries to ignore should a potential deal come to pass
As Formula E lined up to complete its seventh season at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, all eyes were on who would be its first official FIA world champion. Despite Nyck de Vries' title lead heading into the weekend looking all but secure, the Dutchman held on - and enjoyed a good dollop of fortune - to secure a championship double for Mercedes
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