Normally, a newly-crowned champion wouldn’t retire immediately afterwards, because surely you’d want more, right? But Mercedes-Benz appears to be pulling a Nico Rosberg – fresh from clinching the drivers’ and teams’ titles with Nyck de Vries and the Mercedes-EQ team, Stuttgart has announced it will be exiting Formula E after the 2021-2022 season.
This means that the company is ending its involvement in the series after just three seasons, having made its debut in 2019. Mercedes said that the decision was made as part of a “strategic refocus of resource for electric vehicle development.”
That’s not to say that it won’t continue to participate in other forms of motorsport, with the company’s COO Markus Schäfer saying that it will redouble its efforts in Formula 1 – where the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team is currently locked in a tight title fight with Red Bull Racing.
“In motorsport, Formula E has been a proof point for our electric drive expertise and a good driver for establishing our Mercedes-EQ brand, but in future we will keep pushing technological progress – especially on the electric drive side – focusing on Formula One,” he said.
Team principal Ian James added, “We have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the support of Mercedes-Benz in our journey so far, and I would like to thank them for this – and all the support we will be receiving in their last year of involvement with this team.”
Mercedes continues the exodus of carmakers from Formula E, with Audi and BMW already pulling out after the recently-concluded season. This leaves Porsche as the sole remaining German manufacturer, competing against the likes of Jaguar, Nissan, DS and Mahindra. The hole left by the Three-pointed Star could be filled by McLaren, which has indicated an interest in joining the series in 2022.
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