Mercedes-Benz will quit Formula E after the conclusion of the championship’s eighth season, the manufacturer confirmed on Wednesday.
Fresh off the back of a maiden Drivers’ title win for Nyck de Vries and Manufacturers’ title following the conclusion of season seven in Berlin at the weekend, the German marque has confirmed it will pull out of the all-electric series next year.
Mercedes only entered Formula E last season after taking over the HWA Racelab entry, meaning it will have competed in only three seasons before pulling the plug in, explaining the need to push resources elsewhere as it seeks to electrify its entire automobile range by 2030.
“As part of the new strategic direction, the brand has deliberately chosen to shift resources for this accelerated ramp-up of electrification, including the development of three electric-only architectures to be launched in 2025. Therefore, Mercedes will reallocate resource away from its ABB FIA Formula E World Championship programme and towards applying the lessons learned in competition to product development in series.”
Mercedes confirmed its commitment to its Formula 1 team and suggested the series was a better platform for research and development, despite F1’s limited use of electric power.
“Moving forward, the company will concentrate its works motorsport activities on Formula 1, reinforcing the sport’s status as the fastest laboratory for developing and proving sustainable and scalable future performance technologies,” it added in a statement.
It added that options to sell the team are being looked at, with rumours Toto Wolff could remain involved, possibly as a team owner.
“We have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the support of Mercedes-Benz in building a class-leading Formula E operation over the past few seasons,” said Ian James, Team Principal. “I would like to thank the company for its trust and support in our journey so far – and all the way through to what we hope will be a successful conclusion to Season 8 with a strong championship challenge.
“Although Mercedes-Benz has decided to leave, we recognise the value and power of Formula E; therefore, we will be exploring the best options for the team to continue competing beyond Season 8.”
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 in Season 8.”
Mercedes’ decision means all three German manufacturers have or will pull out of the sport before the Gen3 car is introduced for season nine, with Audi and BMW both confirming they will depart this year.