Mercedes-Benz to join Formula E in 2018-19
Electric series will expand to 12 teams
Drivers will use just one car to race, not two
Mercedes is proving almost unbeatable in Formula One, and now the German manufacturer is looking at muscling in on the Formula E revolution.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of FIA Formula E, confirmed that Mercedes Grand Prix executive director Toto Wolff had signed an agreement which gives the team the option to join the electric racing series in the 2018-19 season.
“We are delighted to confirm that we have reserved one of our two new entries in season five for MGP,” Agag told the Mercedes website. “Formula E wants to become the platform where car manufacturers test and develop technologies that they will then introduce on their road cars.
“Having the chance to include in the future a brand like Mercedes in our championship would be a major boost to achieve that objective.”
The first two seasons of Formula E featured 10 teams, with two cars per driver.
However, in 2018-19 that will increase to 12 teams – subject to FIA approval – and drivers will use just one car for qualifying and racing.
All current teams are expected to continue competing in season five.
“We have been watching the growth of Formula E with great interest,” Wolff said. “At the current time, we are looking at all the options available in the future of motor racing, and we are very pleased with an agreement that secures us an opportunity to enter the series in season five.
“Electrification will play a major role in the future of the automotive industry.”
This season in F1, the two Mercedes drivers – Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – have been way out in front of the other teams and drivers in the championship race.
At Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Rosberg extended his lead over Hamilton to 23 points with five races to go and 125 points available. Red Bull’s race winner Daniel Ricciardo is in third place, 84 points behind Rosberg.
Formula E’s third season starts this weekend in Hong Kong.