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Mercedes joins Audi and BMW in Formula E exit

Reigning champions Mercedes EQ will leave Formula E at the end of Season 8.

The team entered Formula E at the start of Season 6 with both a works team and supplying Venturi’s powertrain.

After a maiden victory at the end of the 2019-20 season, Mercedes came back with a championship campaign this year. Nyck de Vries became Formula E’s first World Champion, while the team took the teams’ title.

Despite the success and Mercedes Benz pledging to become an all-electric brand by the end of the decade, the manufacturer has opted to pull out of the series.

Markus Schaefer, a member of the board of management at Mercedes and Daimler explained:

“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 providing 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, as we see in ongoing projects such as the Vision EQXX and our team and the entire series will achieve net-zero status by the end of the decade.”

Mercedes has stated it will continue to work with Formula E to explore options of continuing in the championship beyond Season 8. This could be as a powertrain supplier or creation of one of the standard components, as McLaren Applied Technologies and Williams Advanced Engineering have done with the batteries.

As Mercedes joins the likes of BMW and Audi in leaving the championship, series founder Alejandro Agag has reiterated Formula E’s importance in the automotive world.

“Automotive manufacturers are facing EU and UK regulations to transition to a fully electric future, reinforcing Formula E’s vision,” he said.

“Formula E, the world’s first and only Net Zero Carbon championship, provides an unparalleled technology and marketing platform showcasing the future of electric mobility in iconic city centres around the world. We look forward to developing our championship with our partners, teams and manufacturers who share our commitment to an electric future.”

Bethonie Waring

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