Mercedes to quit DTM at end of 2018 to enter Formula E
Posted By: Editor   |  25 Jul 2017   |  9:23 am GMT  |  123 comments

Mercedes will quit the DTM at the end of 2018 to enter Formula E after 18 consecutive seasons in the German touring car series. The manufacturer cited a desire to pursue electric mobility and new technology to use in its road cars as the reason for its departure from DTM.

It will launch its FE team for the 2019-2020 season after having competed in the DTM since 2000. Its current drivers under the HWA team are Gary Paffett, ex-Force India racer Paul di Resta, soon-to-be Force India test driver Lucas Auer, former Lotus tester Edoardo Mortara, Maro Engel and Robert Wickens.

Audi and BMW will therefore be the only two manufacturers present in the German series after 2018.

In a statement given out on Monday, Mercedes Formula 1 Team Principal Toto Wolff said, “Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in our motorsport history.

“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.”

Mercedes has retained Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas as its sponsor in F1 since 2010, and, amid rumours that the sponsorship deal would end, the manufacturer renewed its sponsorship contract with the oil company to stretch beyond 2018 in a multi-year deal.

“In motorsport, like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects,” continued 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.”

In 26 DTM seasons, from 1988, Mercedes has won 10 drivers’ titles, 13 team titles and six manufacturer titles (including those in the International Touring Car championship). Mercedes also boasts 184 race wins, 137 pole positions and 552 podium finishes in the DTM.

Mercedes will join Audi, Jaguar and Renault in FE among others, but Audi’s participation in the DTM hasn’t been compromised so far because ABT’s FE offering isn’t factory-backed. However, next season Audi’s FE team will receive factory-backing.

The technological aspects of FE are now seen as a major driving factor for teams and Mercedes is aiming to raise the profile of its ‘EQ’ brand.

“Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles under the EQ technology brand,” said Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President of Marketing at Mercedes.

“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.

“Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label,” continued Thiemer.

“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,” said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

“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.”

Have your say on Mercedes’ decision to quit the DTM in the comment section below.

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Given his performance in Hungary, do you reckon that Di Resta will be a Merc formula e driver?


Mercedes Benz pulling out of DTM sucks.
That is the form of racing that I can closest relate to my road car.
Not F1 and certainly not formula E!
SL65 AMG owner


Porsche will also enter into the Formula E championship in 2019/20 !
Porsche will terminate their LMP1 program by end of this year and focus on Formula E instead.

This despite huge success with their sportscar with successive titles in 2015/16, along with three straight wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours. As one of their board members said: “The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us. Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability.”

Maybe Honda after all will be a winner in F1?
That is, they will be the only manufacturer of IC engines left in motorsport. ;o)


Its the right way to go for them, because the market its moving into electric cars…

sadly its also the start for the end of DTM, because it only seems like BMW will move to electric cars as well pretty soon…

in 15 years or so FE will be the pinnacle of the industry, and F1 will become an old fashion melancholic championship with fast and loud cars.


I was under the impression that Williams currently supplied all of the batteries for the Formula E series? It will be interesting to see how this will pan out given their EQ marketing strategy and competition with Williams in F1…


Eddie Jordan was kind of right.


Eddie might yet be fully right! These days he seems more believable than Toto, such is the lack of of convincing information from the Mercedes spin miester!


I’m sorry but why is everyone, and I mean everyone, refusing to mention the elephant in the room. Mercedes has just been ordered by the EU to undertake that biggest recall in history and pulls out of DTM within five business days. Please can we stop writing and talking about the red herring of FE here and pay attention to what will certainly be going on behind the scenes in the upper floors at Stuttgart. Over to you Mr Allen…

Best team in the world 🙁


If an FE team were to enter an F1 race (or an F1 team were to enter an FE race), who would win?


I like FE and the technology is very cool, but they need to do something about some of the tracks. The last race I tuned into was NY, what joke of a race track.


For reference a 2018 FE battery pack weighs around 250 kgs, about 1/3rd the total weight of the car (without driver). For that 250 kgs it goes about as far as 25 kgs of petrol. The engine makes around 250 kw and they are top speed limited to 225 kph.

All of the above are reasons why the circuits are short, the races only 30 minutes and then they change cars. After all who wants to stand around waiting for an hour for the battery to recharge.


I didn’t say anything about the tracks being short, I said some of the tracks are boring, NY as an example. I fully understand how FE works, but thanks for the superfluous information.


You do realise that a Tesla S wouldn’t make more than 3 laps around Nürburgring without needing to stop for an hour or so to recharge the batteries. Batteries that weigh 550 kgs BTW.


How do you know I don’t own a model S? Thanks for responding, but you assume too much with your comments.


First of all you have to believe that man-made global warming is a true thing, and then how far do you want to bend over for the rest of the act.
The fact is, the battery is yet to be replaced in practice. Will it ever for general purposes? Take away the government subsidy and Tesla would be out of business. G.M. has closed the Bolt production even with the available subsidy. The British gov’t. has decided to bend over and grab the ankles. Do what you have to to, I guess, Mercedes. It is not for this curmudgeon.


global warming is not a religion, you don’t just believe it…it should be a scientific enquiry where a question is asked, a prediction of the answer to that question, presented with some prior scientific knowledge to back it up, experimentation designed and carried out, results analysed and conclusions drawn…..but there isn’t a single experiment which proves that any of the gases produced in burning fossil fuels cause the temperature of any atmosphere to change in any way. there are numerous experiments which confirm that increasing carbon dioxide concentration cause an increase in the rate of photosynthesis so any of those experiment could easily be modified to find out if changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects atmospheric temperatures..but guess what? they haven’t been done because the results don’t support their agenda so they just start telling stories, turning it into an ideology..
the reason conditions on earth are conducive to life is because it has evolved and will continue to evolve. there is nothing anyone or any group of people can do to prevent conditions on earth from evolving.. we are just too insignificant to bring about such a change in nature..insignificant!


F1 needs to go fully electric 2040 or earlier is there is allowed to be a Grand Prix after then.


I don’t really see how this will relate to niche F1. Besides, I’m sceptical this ban will actually happen. What’s the point of little old Blighty adopting this approach when China will undoubtedly carry on chugging unprecedented levels of smog into the atmosphere.

If it does go ahead I’ll be emigrating, maybe Portugal or Italy!


Does anybody know what kind of crowds they get at these FE races??
I personally think with Merc joining FE, it will get some boost in interest.
Will Ferrari be next?


James K. Ferrari won’t join FE until the rules allow manufacturers to build their own chassis. A key feature of Ferrari racing philosophy. I hope FE will allow this one day soon.


James from what I’ve seen on TV they seem to get reasonable crowds, but a large part of that is probably down to the fact most of the races are in big city centres making it more likely for the casual fan to attend. I’m sceptical they would get the same crowds at proper circuits away from city centres.


That says it all! 57 million viewers for the first 3 races, where 40 million saw the very first race!! What a drop in viewership.


a good build up and publicity got the numbers up but they didn’t return for more..


He struggles with numbers, he still thinks there hasn’t been a decline in viewing since the hybrid turbo era begun. Or he simply chooses to ignore that fact to suit his ramblings.


Thanks Nick. I tend to agree. I would imagine that most of the spectators are just passerbys, or people that are just curious, a bit like what happened with F1 in London.
The real test of fandom would be if they held a race at a proper circuit, but I shouldn’t think they would dare just yet.
Of course, electric or something similar is the future, for road cars, there’s no doubt about that. But a pure electric racing car….. no thanks.
I’ve just read that after 2040, petrol/ diesel cars will not be sold in Britain. Hopefully F1 can stay pure to its roots, and be the only thoroughbred motor racing league left on the planet😊


JK, I have it on very good authority that the FE spectators are actually retiree golfers, looking for a buggy upgrade. I’m sure there’s a marketing spin off…Formula E -means you can now play 18 holes in less that an hour!


😂😂😂 bingo!


f2 anyone?


They certainly sound like racing cars. That’s a possibility 👍🏻


but not many people want to watch it relative to f1.


Fórmula E is rubbish, I will never watch it.

We want exciting racing cars, these have screaming internal combustion engines. The reason we have issues now with the current PU is the pathetic attempt to turn it into some green economy circus that nobody wants.


f2 better?


We want exciting racing cars, these have screaming internal combustion engines.

Agreed. They had it right in 2005 when the engines sounded like they were about to detonate themselves.


f2 good enough?


Also watching old races from 2005 the cars looked magical gliding on rails it seemed. Now with more downforce and power the cars do not have that seems look to them. I feel that all this added weight has taken away from that magic of the cars in that era changing direction so awesomely. Suzuka S are best example I think. Also Those engines need to come back as well. I wish they would take all the best parts of each era and make an ultimate F1 car based of V12 V10 20,000 rpm light weight downforce double diffuser ground effects etc and find the right mixture of it all.


I agree. They may have plenty of downforce now and are proper fast through high speed stuff but they still look cumbersome and nowhere near as nimble as the beasts from 2005. Thanks to all the PU junk.


It was bound to happen. Sooner rather than later. Let’s hope Formula one can keep up although I’m not so impressed with Formula E yet. But it wll get stronger, no matter what.


no chance, running used to me a mode of transport and became a competitive sport as a result. running has not been a mode of transport for millennia yet people fill stadia to watch runners compete so the parallels you draw between cars and motorracing is baseless..


Some of the stupidest sets of reasoning I’ve heard in motorsport for a long time. Mercedes are abandoning a saloon/touring car series that people can at least identify with their Mercedes road car and replacing it with an open wheeler series that has no resemblance to any vehicle Mercedes sell or ever will sell. Sounds like a PR nightmare to me, the majority of people buy Mercedes because they look like a Mercedes, the 3 pointed star at the front for example. FE cars are all built to the same specification ie; they all look pretty much the same.

Aside from the marketing aspects, Mercedes are already in F1 with hybrid electric and regenerative technology, so exactly what they expect to get from FE technology wise is difficult to understand. My guess is that they intend to dominate FE by outspending everyone else, same as they do in F1 and then, if (when) they start getting beaten in F1 they have somewhere else to go. Perhaps also the reason for leaving DTM where Audi are giving them a real hard time.

An example of FE’s tenuous lifespan, at last year’s Hong Kong FE event they conducted a survey after the race with fans expressing disappointment over what they dubbed “toy cars” due to the ­absence of the usual roar from conventional engines. Whilst on FE in China, Beijing decided not to continue after staging races for the last two years.


no fans, no interest, pointless investing..


Good on Formula E to be able to attract more manufacturers. I watch a race here and there but l must admit that l haven’t been sold on the serie so far. I don’t particularly like the circuit used and that plus the lack of noise seem to be the main reason. I like that many of the racers are known and that Renault wins, but not much more. I do not follow DMT at all but it seems to have a fair amount of fans, so l am sure many will be sadden by the news. Maybe when Formula E evolve more toward a non-spec serie and the cars are taken to more traditional circuits, it will be more exciting to follow. Right now I am content by just following the results. Another thing, stop the fan boost. Marc

Ebola for sure!

I have tried to watch Formula E too. Its the future, it’s great blah blah blah… It just seems like a techo’s version of what open wheel motorsport should be. There are some absolutely amazing all electric high performance road cars appearing now so please make the the FE cars a bit more interesting and appealing????


Formula E….”Where sport and it’s fans end…and business takes over”!!!


This also impacts the existing F3 European Championship. It’s closely tied to the DTM. I wonder how much longer M-B (and VW, if VAG decides to pull Audi from the DTM) will continue making F3 engines? Too, adding a turbo and KERS to the existing F3 engines seems a reasonable course toward the next F1 regs, so maybe there are still R&D benefits to be had.


Cool, Formula E, or it’s offspring, is the future. The thing holding it back now is that they’re so slow. They look like F1 cars…but they go at Touring Car speeds. I’m getting used to the sound too. If they can get some speed, then I think it could be super cool and futuristic. Just look at that e car that lapped the Nurburgring recently. It was as fast as a fast thing.


how many laps?

søren christensen

Sound is a great part of the excitement of watching car races, be it live or TV. Luckily F1 now has a slightly better sound, but the whizz of FE simply cannot interest me. The cars are ugly, drivers mediocre and the “sound” terrible.
In the Lemans series, there is hope. If we get rid of the hybrids for next season, and are left with the purebred engines in LMP2 and GTE, it will be candy for the ears…
I will never forget the growling Panoz and earlier the screaming Mazdas at LeMans in the 90´ties


For those audiophiles of of a certain age, the sound of a Matra V12 at LeMans or in the back of a F1 car was the very pinnacle of racing.


not’s no!


Formula E:
whirrrrr, click, click, whirrrrrrrrr.
Awesome racing!


it’s not the noice which gets me, it’s the speed and dainty looking cars which kills my interests..


It’s going to take a lot of development to make Formula E of any interest to genuine motorsport enthusiasts. At least they are getting rid of the need for two cars just to complete a relatively short race !

The current rush to full electric cars is like driving up a cul de sac. Fuel cell technology would be far better as it’s totally green, the cars produce zero emissions and have no range issues.

All they need is for manufacturers to invest in the refuelling infrastructure but that now looks unlikely to happen. It’s a rerun of the Betamax/VHS battle. In that case, the better technological solution lost.


why would they need to refuel if they don’t use fuel?


I suspect cars will “cheat” by first introducing dual fuel (hybrid) electric cars. Cars that still need gas – more like a more efficient and powerful Prius. Then eventually the regular gas part will disappear and all gas stations will be electric charging stations – the way music streaming is killing iTunes download sales or Netflix DVD business is being killed by Netflix streaming. The main infrastructure problem facing is you cannot easily monetize refuelling since generally people drive short distances (less than a 2 to 3 hours/day) while the tipping point for widespread acceptance of electric cars may be when they can last 12 to 24 hours between each charge.


From 2019 onwards, Formula E will switch to an new McLaren battery which will allow every team to run a full full race with only one car. This has been one of my major gripes with Formula E. This development in some ways means, cost, engine noise and raw speed will suddenly be the only major difference between Formula E and Formula One! For the race enthusiasts this difference will be insignificant, just like Tesla customers do not care that a Tesla lacks the exhaust note of a BMW or Mercedes. Formula E gives Mercedes Benz a major platform to promote their all electric EQ Power Plus Engine. In addition, the European car market’s love of diesel engines is proving to have been one epic fraud. There are now reports of Europe antitrust investigation, alleging collusion between the German companies on diesel components to ensure all of them cheated on the emission standards, not to mention the suspect emission results on ALL German brands. This scandal is most likely going to end Europe’s love affair with diesel and force a new focus on hybrid electric engines as the alternative to standard petrol engines. Finally, Volvo (through Chinese company Geely) has committed to having only full electric models from 2019. The commitment to electric cars (and thus Formula E) is now a market imperative for all European car companies.

Ricciardo Aficionado

So F1 fits in where?


run a full full race with only one car

Do you know whether they will still use the ‘special’ level track at Monaco or will they be able to manage the hill?
Also, polite correction regarding Volvo – they have not committed to full electric from 2019 onwards – they have committed to hybrid or all electric, i.e. no more plain old petrol or diesel cars.


There has been very little about changing current track layouts but eventually I have no doubt they are going to add that section. Currently, Formula E is moving conservatively to avoid going head to head with F1 until they reach some sort of audience parity. One of their attractions is that they are racing in cities (e.g. New York) where F1 would struggle to hold events either for technical, logistic, or commercial reasons. Formula E is still very much a niche event, but electric power is developing really fast, and thanks to companies like Tesla, it really feels like we are on the cusp of a game changing technological shift. Unfortunately (especially in the USA) the low price of crude has really blunted some of the hybrid/full electric market’s progress.


DTM is dull and more of a convoy.
Low attendance from spectators these days.
It’s really gone downhill.
The last race in Russia Raceway practically empty. It’s a cure for insomniacs on a par to watching the leisure activity masquerading as a sport…Golf !!
Mercedes battery power plant will knock the rest into another category.


At least golf is 100% ‘human input’ whereas F1 is more like 5-10% human input these days, even more so with these complex for the sake of complexity PUs, car does the rest.


why watch f1 and follow progress online if it’s not as appealing?
f1 is a competition of man and machine against other men and machines. it doesn’t matter what the eatio of effort between man and machine is so long as the rules in making those machines are the same for everyone and the rules of racing are also the same for everyone…all the moaning should be done at the time the rules are being decided..after the rules have been decided, the moaning stops and the competition begins..


I agree with few other comments, I have watch FE but really can’t get into it or even find any excitement in it! The only interest in the races either comes from cars crashing into each other cause the tracks are so poorly designed / small or the cars failing cause they run out of power!
Hopefully Merc’s decision to move into FE is continue their development of hybrid systems as from 2020 F1 will be moving back to proper engines with just a basic KERS system rather then the current over complicated / unreliable power units?


there you do sebee…v10s and v8s 6 feet under with concrete slabs just as thick over them.


And more and more fans turning away!


not a single fan has turned away..even you haven’t turned away..


Stats say 175m turned away over few short years.


only to find out how incomplete their lives were without f1..


Look it up. Why do you think Ross wants to change the engines. You’ll have to get some ear plugs for your delicate ears.

Also why are you replying to my comment at 3:30am? Get some sleep boy.


vettel says refusing the halo is not only arrogant but stupid!


A bit touchy Nicky boy :)? Aveli has a point, there is still a lot of buzz in F1 and many people are still enjoying F1 racing as it is.
What makes the “fans” turning away is mainly the rising cost of watching the races, unsupported live streaming, or on demand for a decent price – not the 10 Db in sound levels.


you look it up and you’ll find out that f2 cars are much louder than f1 cars yet f2 following is less than one thousandths of f1 following. that’s how important sound is to motorsport fans.
if you are you position of authority to tell me when i can or cannot respond to posts on here, show me your id..if not hush!


For the same reason why no one watches Man United U18’s. Because F2 is a junior category feeder series and isn’t promoted as the main draw. It isn’t direct competition to F1, of course you already know this but you are being a troll as usual. I do agree it’s embarrassing the F2 cars sound better than the main draw pinnacle of motorsport F1 cars. Luckily Ross is in change and he realises these engines need to be changed sooner rather than later. Get your earplugs at the ready for 2021.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Wooah! Was that Toto talking there? So much waffle. Mercedes is going electric because it’s the thing of the future. If the family saloon is soon going to be electric then touring car racing should also be electric. Like driving a commodore to work…
Are there any privateers in FE? Can you grab a battery pack off the shelf and go racing? I don’t watch it much, I heard it’s even quieter than F1. When Hammond crashed and burned that electric Lamborghini on a hill climb in Switzerland… Screeching tyres and an eerie quiet.
It does seem kind of weird to have two similar open wheel categories powered quite differently, trying to be independent, but still trying to be the same trying to hook the same mass demographic. How long before Merecedes make the decision between FE and F1?
F1 is soon going to be a dinosaur unless it goes electric.
Will FE implement the halo next year too?


Problem with touring cars is pretty much the same as F1.
Far too expensive.
Touring cars should be road going cars, updated brakes suspension, roll cage etc and not silhouette racing cars that happen to look like road cars.
As soon as technology gets a hold of a racing series, budgets go through the roof.
Look at Rallying and what that was like to compared to now. Even group b cars had road going examples built .


“Mercedes will quit the DTM at the end of 2018 to enter Formula E after 18 consecutive seasons in the German touring car series.” Their participation goes back to the first DTM or in this case the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft. I can’t imagine the series without them.


Shame! I really enjoy the series. The competition will not be as intense, which it’s major attraction IMO.

Formula E does nothing for me at all.


Sadly there are several factors playing against DTM right now.
> Major Euro cities already announced they are banning combustion engines cars by 2030. So development of electric cars are urgent.
> The market is shifting its focus and sedan owners are now buying SUVs.
> DTM in the 90’s used to have more variety of brands and cars specs. Now that’s just a German no street cars based club.
DTM used to have {Fox Body} Ford Mustangs, All wheel drive Alfas, Limosine AWD Audi A8 and lots of privateers, even FWD Opels.
The series also failed to merge with the Japanese JTCC and attract its brands.
Now their cars looks like LeMans LMP1, not Touring Sedans.


In other words; there used to be a richness and variety in the automotive industry and now there is a push for everyone to drive a tiny box with an electric motor in the back and with the personality of a washing machine.


It is mostly politicians and environmental activicsts that are pushing for electric and they have very good access to te media that the man in the street does not. I do not dectect much enthusiasm for electrics among current (no pun intended) motorists. At some point nearer to the itroduction these eco fascist dictats, the governments are going to need to be re-elected to push them through and then things might look a bit different different. Anyway, much UK housing stock is unsuitable for off road charging. Inductive loops in the streets they will say! Cobblers! The local councils can’t even find the money to fix the pot holes!


Your first two points have barely anything to do with the DTM. Other series like the TCR, the BTCC or the Blancpain Series have plenty of cars on the grid and by no means these cars are SUVs. Plus, the DTM has no refuelling, like most GT races, so they consume less gas on average.

Then, in the 90s, more variety? You Sure? You put it like it was a mecca for touring cars but as works teams capable of winning there were Audi, BMW, Mercedes (the same three as now) plus Alfa for 4 years and Opel but at a level way lower than that of the premium manufacturers. And Apart from the Calibra, which btw was only fully competitive for two seasons, winning cars were sedans. The Mustangs of the 90s were a failed experiment…

They weren’t merging with the JTCC but the SuperGT, which is different, a type of cars that go along the same concept of current DTMs. You talk about LMP-1s? Ok, until last year the Japs were using their old generation of cars that in Fuji clocked times at the level of LPM1-Ls. DTM have never ever come close to that.

Yes, now the Japanese cars are full Class One cars but, according to the Japanese delegations that tavel to the DTM, they’re atill faster than the DTMs, since they have some features the current DTM cars don’t have (specific chassis, more than one tyre supplier and more bhp).

Plus, they didn’t merge with them because Toto Wolff was always contrary to the DTM in all aspects. There was a warning from him around late 2014 of leaving the series and only Pascal’s title in 2015 put the retirement off.

‘Class One’ means dearer cars. A current DTM car costs around 2 millions euros a year (building and maintenance), the new chassis and engine would increase the cost, even if the block they will use is not that expensive. Thus, the only way out for Class One is that each series do their own thing and at the end of the year they’d have a World Cup, like in the 90s with the Class 2 FIA super touring cars at Monza.

So mate, you were not right in any of your points.


It would be interesting to know how their DTM budget compares to their FE program.
Is MB trying to save money to pay the fines from the Urea cartel debacle?


From memory the FE Manufacturers licence costs Euro150K and each car (3 minimum) has to “sell” for Euro800K. Of course they can make a loss on each car in they want.


Well, a current car costs around 2 million euros a year (building and maintenance), plus the salaries of each driver (they are all paid drivers) then logistics, hospitalities… So you could perfectly say between 25 and 30 millions euros a year, easily.


I’ve tried to watch FE. I really have. I’ve tried so many times to watch it and get excited about it but the sound, or lack of it, makes it impossible for this F1 fan.
If Mercedes are so keen to support new technology why aren’t they pushing for driverless cars in motorsport? Surely it is not only relevant but the ultimate goal for a company that is apparently keen to develop ‘current and future technologies’.


i tried it too and couldn’t find a reason to watch it. i even when to see it live at battersea park…nothing!


@Just Sayin’…
Just saying the first time I watched an FE race I laughed my socks off when I discovered what happened when a car drove into the garage (make that tent) with depleted batteries. They don’t recharge the batteries, they don’t replace the batteries, no they just switch cars!!
As for sound, ING Bank is the only appropiate sponsor: IIINNNNGGG
I don’t get the hype with electric cars anyway. The most illustrious car is the Tesla. Nikola Tesla, the famous/notorious inventor, would cringe upon hearing that a car named after him uses batteries instead of the free wireless energy he was striving for. (Mind you, I’m not a Tesla addict, he was not some sort of superhuman.) It’s still quite primitive
The real cutting edge development is hydrogen. So maybe one day we’ll have FH: Formula Hydrogen…


Look up how hydrogen is actually made or derived- basically natural gas. Making hydrogen to burn in an engine makes very little sense when you can burn the natural gas directly, without the loss in efficiency in the conversion.


Hello @Luqa,
Actually had a longer response to your remark in mind but it’s been several days now so I’ll restrict myself to the main points.
You’re absolutely right, there’s always some conversion involved before arriving at a (metallic) hydrogen fuel cell. It’s still to be preferred to using methane as a direct fuel because of the energy content and possibly infrastructure. Cracking CH4 with steam is an option, end products could involve either CO2 or carbon dust and with electrolysis (using solar energy say) you could even have no CO2 footprint.
Then again, the ultimate conversion energy source in our civilisation is of course electricity! Whether its source is fossil, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, there’s always a conversion involved. It’s just that I’m not particularly charmed with using batteries. Yes I know, their heavy metal content has been reduced, yes they can be recharged way more frequently and yes, an increasing proportion of the source energy is green, but I still fear we’re swapping dirty air for dirty land/water. With the hype now going on we’ll have a battery-driven infrastructure pretty soon and I’m just not happy with that. Especially if this would mean postponing introduction of better energy sources.
And as long as you cannot replace diesel and kerosine in trucks, ships and planes with electric systems, you’re just deceiving yourself. Batteries is an inherently deficient and dirty technology.

Let me mention one exciting development that does look promising: iron dust burning. From your tank you burn pure iron dust particles which gives high energy content propulsion. The waste in the form of rust is collected in a separate tank and is later (by using hydrogen) recycled for pure iron. Pretty clean cycle. There are problems (adhesion to conducts for one) but you carry your fuel with you, it’s light and clean and not subject to the ever present deterioration encountered in electric battery driven cars.
Formula E is an abomination. Don’t go using batteries for high speeds, only use them for storing and subsequently retrieving energy in urban areas, and in the way yeah… F1 uses it at the moment!
Formula iron could be a better option, who knows. Since iron = Fe (Ferrum) we could call it FFE!…


no they just switch cars!!

Lol – don’t forget they have to use a special level track at Monaco as they can’t cope with the hill.


Spot on.


There is no doubt in my mind that electric cars are going to take over. There are so many positive selling points, they will sell themselves for adoption. But I wonder if FE is how they will sell us on it.

Is FE representative of any passion or excitement electric cars may deliver or will they just be extremely convenient and efficient transportation? Is FE how we will use electric cars? Or is FE an old marketing method they are trying to use for future business model of automobile that’s yet to be determined? Will we even buy the cars or just buy rides from autonomous electric cars? Will brand of car matter for your bought ride? Does it matter with Uber? With a Taxi?

Tesla P100D has done more for excitement of electric cars than anything I can think of, but is that acceleration how it is used? Or just transportation?

I guess what I’m asking here is…could FE be like a car ad in a gardening magazine that sells in very low circulation? …for a car few will actually potentially care to buy at all? An ad out of place and in an irrelevant place?


Only a matter of time before formula E becomes F1.


Honestly, DTM should have become F1…in the PU way I mean.

They should have changed those V8s into V6 hybrids and given these car makers an outlet for this hybrid fluff and left the F1 V8s alone. It’s funny that DTM still has NA V8s. I mean, if Mercedes AMG it going to pretend they are peddling green hybrids, at least make them look like real cars in DTM.

…unless, Mercedes AMG actually has no hybrid product to sell at all, and is now using hybrid PU F1 platform to actually advertise their EQ Power brand (not a real product yet at all), which will launch in 2019 with a 100% Electric car…an SUV. Talk about Mercedes AMG F1 effort being totally road relevant to their actual products, right?


JohnH ~ “Only a matter of time before formula E becomes F1.”

Ah, but which way round? FE submitting to the ICE, or F1 going electric, maybe using ICE technology to generate electricity (like deisel-electric on the UK railways) for all four wheels?

Roadwise, I read somewhere that to have the same volume of electric cars as there are petrol/deisel cars at present, the electricity generating companies would have to generate half as much again than at present. Even if this were remotely accurate, it would at least transfer pollution from the towns cities and roads to wherever the power stations are


You might find this article in Business insider to be of interest. It shows how much of a problem we may have in sourcing the raw materials for battery production.


‘. . . brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close . . .’
Writing on the pit-lane wall and thin end of the wedge –
Don’t ‘lose your spark’, F1.
You’re going to be fighting for the premier slot pretty soon.

Maybe best to do a re-branding deal with the Goodwood Revival folk.
International ‘Goodwood Survival’ series?


Liberty have a stake in Formula E and won’t allow it to effect the value of F1 detrimentally.


Doubt it will be Vol….. oh some one ( read everyone) has already said that


Right you are –
Then separate ‘futuristic’ and ‘legacy’ series it is.
No conflict, and F1 will be way cheaper, noisier and fun.


Quite a blow for DTM, though with BMW doing okay now it’s not the disaster it might’ve been. Maybe a manufacturer or two will take the opportunity to step in – Volvo, maybe?

Seems rather bizarre to retain Petronas as the lead sponsor for Formula E, though!


My first thought at the news was, “Ford’s pushing the Mustang over there, why not race?” And belatedly, Cadillac has been trying some selling in the EU and they have high performance models. Pull the supercharger of one of the v-8 and there’s a Corvette engine (actually, with the blower too) but only one cam. Would DTM like to figure a compromise that lets them in?


Looks like Petronas for F1, not FE:
“Mercedes has retained Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas as its sponsor in F1 since 2010, and, amid rumours that the sponsorship deal would end, the manufacturer renewed its sponsorship contract with the oil company to stretch beyond 2018 in a multi-year deal.” I can’t see any mention of the FE sponsor(s) in the article.


It’s kind of early to mention sponsors. They have 1.5 years to work that out.


The same Volvo that just announced it will make only electric or hybrid cars in a couple of years time? No.
If this isn’t the end of DTM, it should be. They’ll doubtless drag it out for a few painful more seasons, but the writing is ion the wall.


I’d forgotten about Volvo’s announcement, but was just thinking about active players in WTCC that might be tempted across.

I think the only thing that will keep DTM going in its current form beyond the next few years is if Fiat press ahead with their rumoured plan to promote the Alfa Romeo brand more aggressively via motorsport. It’s been suggested Ferrari customer engines will be re-branded as Alfas, and the Giulia would make a handsome DTM car…


Volvo? – they won’t even have a petrol only car soon. Announced recently


Seems bizzare to retain Petronas as the title sponsor for Formula E…

You’re using too much logic. If you use this much logic the whole endeavour will fall apart like a cheap Chinese motorcycle.


Oh yeah, I forgot about the Volvo announcement >.<

Thinking about it, I wonder if Alfa Romeo might be more likely. The Giulia is pretty new out and with Ferrari reportedly considering badging their customer F1 engines as Alfa, it would tie in nicely.


Not sure Volvo will be joining anytime soon, they’re commited to electric car production by 2019


also, I believe Volvo was in the V-8 Supercars in Oz but dropped out. Interestingly, Nissan is still in there… The rules are vastly different between the two series, but the underlying ideas are similar – and what happened to all the noise abouit DTM and the Japanese series converging on rules?


very unlikely – Volvo have committed to going all electric – so far more likely to enter FE


mercedes had to show petronas why they should continue to be associated with them and formula e was the obvious answer.


It’s true that a lot of oil companies are diversifying into renewables and I suppose Formula E sort of fits that. It’s not clear if Petronas are actually going to sponsor the FE programme, though.


Volvo has already stated that every car it makes will be electric from 2019.


Electric or hybrid, and DTM has been moving in the hybrid direction.


Any idea how much a DTM budget is for Merc?


Formula E has been the great PR exercise for anyone who wants to look forward thinking/saving the planet/cutting edge. So you get cities and sponsors queuing up to be part of the boring dross that it is. Meanwhile the same cities and people choke as pollution targets are purposely ignored to avoid affecting the economy.


Is it really a great PR exercise, only time will tell, I mean does anyone watch FE and does anyone care?

Is it like moving from sponsoring a Major League Baseball team with millions of viewers, to sponsoring a little league under 10’s team with no viewers, but everyone else is moving to the little league inder 10’s and the marketers say if you don’t move it’ll look like the company hates under 10s kids.

Is it not a great ‘conceptual’ PR exercise akin to hiding the environmental impact of the company by promoting they bought up a hectare of Amazonian rainforest to stop it being cut down as their greatest rival jist planted a new field of pines in Norway.

Formula E to the car manufacturing industry is like QR codes to the tech sector, wow totally amazing but in reality a complete fail.


It’s easy to call a series boring. Happens all the time, to every series, not least of all F1.

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