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Vandoorne and de Vries confirmed at Mercedes

Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries have been confirmed as the driver line-up for Mercedes at the Frankfurt Motor Show, ahead of the German marque's debut season in Formula E.

The 24-year-old Dutchman Nyck de Vries is currently leading the FIA Formula 2 Championship, and also has enough super-licence points to compete in F1.

"I think over the last five years, Formula E has established itself as one of the biggest racing series in the world, alongside Formula 1," De Vries said.

"This opportunity is the right one for me, and I can't wait to get started."

"Carrying the pride of the star is a real honour, and watching the brand and its motorsport history makes me privileged to be part of the Mercedes family."

De Vries started his career in karting, winning the world championship on multiple occasions which led to him being signed by the McLaren Young Driver Programme in 2010.

He left McLaren in 2019 to focus on his role in the Audi Young Driver Academy, which he has been a member of since 2018.

Before 2018, he also tested Audi's DTM cars and in Season 4, took part in the Formula E young driver test in Marrakesh for Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport.

Additionally, de Vries spent a weekend in New York as their reserve driver and most recently, tested for Audi customer team, Envision Virgin Racing, in Marrakesh last season.

De Vries has also dabbled in sportscar racing for Racing Team Nederland in the FIA World Endurance Championship and has impressed with his speed and consistency.

He will partner Belgian racer Stoffel Vandoorne at the Mercedes squad in the upcoming sixth season of Formula E.

Vandoorne was GP2 champion in 2015 before graduating to Formula 1 with McLaren, spending two full seasons at the British squad in 2017 and 2018 after racing at Bahrain in 2016.

The Belgian then made his debut in Formula E last season with Mercedes-affiliated squad HWA Racelab, taking one podium on his way to 16th in the standings.

Mercedes will join BMW, Audi and Porsche in the series; the first time all four marques will be competing in the same series. 

Mercedes' Head of Motorsport, Toto Wolff discussed the excitement surrounding the presence of German manufacturers in Formula E:

"These guys are our competitors in road cars, but have left us all alone in Formula One. We're joining Formula E as newcomers, as are Porsche. BMW and Audi have been there a while, so we need to be realistic."

"We are looking forward to compete against these great brands."

Feature Image Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz; Additional Reporting by Aaron Lloyd Collins

 

Rob Lomas

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