Mercedes Benz Grand Prix Ltd eyeing up Formula E
German manufacturing giants Mercedes Benz Grand Prix Ltd (MGP) appear to have reached an option agreement with Formula E, that could see the current F1 constructor’s champions take part in the fifth season of the FIA Formula Championship, in 2018/19. The move seals off one of two available entries in season five, as the all-electric series seeks to expand the current grid to twelve outfits, with the agreement of the ten current teams, and the FIA.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We are delighted to confirm that we have reserved one of our two new entries in season five for MGP. Formula E wants to become the platform where car manufacturers test and develop the technologies that they will then introduce on their road cars. Having the chance to include a brand like Mercedes in our championship in the future would be a major boost to achieve that objective. Formula E is becoming an exciting mix of consolidated manufacturers like Renault, Citroen-DS, Audi, Mahindra or Jaguar, and new futuristic brands like Faraday Future, NextEV, or the likes of major component manufacturers like Schaeffler and ZF. Mercedes would be a great addition to that growing line-up.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: “We have been watching the growth of Formula E with great interest. 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 – racing has always been a technology R&D platform for the motor industry, and this will make Formula E very relevant in the future.”
Mercedes Benz are the third German manufacturer to tie their name to Formula E, with Audi increasing their links to ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport from season three onwards, and BMW partnering with MS Amlin Andretti, with a view to becoming a full works team by season five. Season five will also see the Formula E make the huge leap to single-car races, ditching the mid-race car swap that has drawn criticism in the past, and making the series an attractive prospect for other manufacturers seeking to enter Formula E. As Mercedes Benz link themselves to the series, and with names like Nissan, Volvo, and Porsche reportedly interested, Formula E looks to be forging on through the teething period, showing firm intent to place the series as the future of motorsport.
The third season of the FIA Formula E championship commences this weekend, in Hong Kong, on October 9th.
We wonder when Lewis Hamilton will get bored of F1…