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Mercedes quits Formula E to focus on F1

19 August 2021

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will withdraw its team from Formula E at the end of Season 8, in August 2022, to focus on F1 and becoming an all-electric brand.

The news will be another blow for the Formula E series after Audi also announced it was leaving the series last weekend.

Mercedes said it will reallocate resource away from its ABB FIA Formula E World Championship programme to focus on ‘electric-only vehicle development’ and ‘applying the lessons learned in competition to product development in series’.

This learning will be brought to life through future product architectures like the AMG.EA platform, the dedicated performance vehicle electric platform that will be launched in 2025, and projects such as the Vision EQXX. It will be one of three electric-only architectures to be launched in 2025.

It follows Mercedes’ strategic announcement last month that the brand will be ready to go all-electric at the end of the decade, where market conditions allow.

Moving forward, the company will concentrate its works motorsport activities on Formula 1, which the brand believes reinforces the sport’s status as the fastest laboratory for developing and proving sustainable and scalable future performance technologies.

While Mercedes-Benz will depart Formula E at the end of Season 8, the team’s leadership group has begun exploring options for the team to continue competing in the series during the Gen 3 era, including a potential sale to new owners.

Ian James, Team Principal, Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, said: “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. 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.”

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO, said; “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.”

He added: “In motorsport, Formula E has been a good driver for proving 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 One. 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 can 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.”

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