It’s been almost a year since Mercedes-Benz announced plans to enter the Formula E Championship and now the automaker has revealed the first details on its entry.
The automaker will race under the auspices of its EQ sub-brand for electric cars, with the team branded Mercedes-EQ Formula E. Mercedes won’t be ready until the 2019/2020 Formula E season, however.
The season, the sixth for the electric car racing series, kicks off in late 2019 and will also see Porsche join the fray. It means Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Nissan and Porsche will all be competing in a single competition, alongside newer rivals DS, Mahindra, Nio and Venturi.
“Formula E is a unique series with some very specific challenges for its teams,” Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff said in a statement released Thursday. “We know the level of competition is extremely high and we will approach the challenge with energy and humility.”
Mercedes won’t be going in fresh, however. Its long-time motorsport partner HWA is already active in Formula E through a technical partnership with Venturi in the current season. And in the upcoming 2018/2019 season, HWA will enter the series as a Venturi customer team, which will give it vital racing experience with the new Gen2 race cars.
HWA will also handle race operations for Mercedes in Formula E. HWA has traditionally been responsible for design, development and operations of Mercedes’ DTM program, which Mercedes ceased last year to focus on Formula E.
Then there’s the experience of the successful Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team to draw on. In fact, the Mercedes Formula E team’s high-performance electric motors will be developed by the same United Kingdom-based facility responsible for the power units in Mercedes’ multiple championship-winning F1 cars.
The facility, known as Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, has been working on challenging high-performance projects for more than a decade including the original KERS hybrid system introduced in F1 last decade and the SLS AMG Electric Drive electric supercar introduced in 2014.