Mercedes-Benz to withdraw from DTM in favour of Formula E

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Mercedes‑Benz has announced what it is referring to as ‘a strategic repositioning’ of its motorsport activities. The upshot of this is the news that the company will conclude its participation in DTM at the end of 2018 and enter Formula E in the 2019/20 season.

This new approach will see Mercedes-Benz competing at both ends of the motorsport spectrum: in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport combining high technology and the most demanding competitive challenge; and in Formula E, which embodies the transformation that is underway in the automotive industry.

Since the “new” DTM was founded in 2000, we have so far enjoyed 18 continuous seasons of great racing, spectacular battles and close-matched competition. We were lucky enough to celebrate championship success and learned how to handle defeat. And we loved every second of it.

“Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” commented Toto Wolff. “I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time. Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves.”

Since the DTM was founded in 1988, there have been 26 racing seasons during which Mercedes-Benz has won 10 drivers’, 13 team and six manufacturer titles (DTM + ITC combined). The team has also celebrated 183 race wins, 128 pole positions and 540 podium finishes.

“Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close. 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,” added vice president marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Jens Thiemer. “It is now time to start on a new path.”

Electric mobility is already of strategic importance to the company today and this will only increase in the future. Formula E offers a perfect platform on which to demonstrate the competitiveness of our technology brand EQ in a racing environment, in the area of battery electric powertrains.

“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.”

“In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects,” added Wolff. “The combination of Formula 1 and Formula E delivers that. Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series. I am pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.”

“Today is a great day as we welcome Mercedes to the Formula E family – adding to the increasing number of manufacturers joining the electric revolution,” concluded Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. “This step shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport, but the whole automotive industry. We’re witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads. Formula E is the championship that embodies that change, and together with all our teams and manufacturers we’ll keep pushing for technologies to have better and more affordable electric cars.”

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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