Formula E has gained another big name entrant, with Mercedes-Benz joining rivals Audi and BMW in committing to the growing category. The decision spells the end of the brand's involvement in DTM racing, and signals a continued push towards electric mobility.
Much like Audi and the World Endurance Championship, Mercedes has a long history in the DTM. The three-pointed star has been competing almost non-stop in the touring car series since its foundation in 1988, over which period it has won 10 driver trophies and six manufacturer titles.
"Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close," says Dr. Jens Thiemer, VP of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "We look back with pride on the commitment of our teams, drivers, partners and the many people behind the scenes, who so often made the series a fascinating platform for our customers and for fans of our brand. It is now time to start on a new path."
Mercedes will be ending its DTM program in 2018, and plans to join the Formula E grid for the 2019/20 season. That's one season later than BMW and two later than Audi, but don't expect Mercedes to be an also-ran. If its recent form in Formula 1 is anything to go by, the Silver Arrows will be tough to beat.
"Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label," continued Thiemer. "Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing."