Following the news that the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team will join the all-electric racing series from season six onward, Mercedes have confirmed that their new venture will be supported by their Formula One team.
The current Formula One constructors’ champions will enter the Formula E championship for the start of the 2019-2020 season (season six), joining the likes of Jaguar, Audi, BMW, and fellow season six entrants Porsche.
As things stand, a total of twelve teams will be competing in the series in the sixth season, eleven of which are confirmed as official powertrain manufacturers.
With teams given the same chassis to work with, the main competition is in the parts which are allowed to be developed such as the motor, the gearbox and the inverter.
Despite starting several years behind many of their rivals, Mercedes will be able to call on the knowledge gained from their other automotive and motorsport arms.
In the marques’ bid to be competitive straightaway, they will be able to use the knowledge gained at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in the UK, which has been responsible for delivering the hybrid power units used in their Formula One outfit.
After having huge success in developing motors and energy recovery systems for race and road cars, Mercedes HPP will now devote time to developing their own electric motors for the Formula E championship.
Alongside their technical prowess, the part of the Mercedes family which will be in charge of their trackside operations, HWA, has already been getting up to speed in Formula E.
Founded in 1998, HWA has been responsible for running the AMG Mercedes team in the DTM, and joined up with the Venturi Formula E team for the start of the 2017-2018 season to provide technical support and gain knowledge of the championship. This link-up has already seen Mercedes DTM drivers Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara join the Venturi team and continue to get up-to-speed in the series.
With Mercedes pulling the plug on their DTM programme at the end of 2018, HWA will increase their involvement in Formula E for the 2018-2019 by fielding their own entry.
Their season five entry (which will be the first season of the second generation Formula E chassis) will be under the HWA name, and their powertrains will be supplied by Venturi.
This entry will then become the full works Mercedes team for season six, using Mercedes powertrains.
Speaking of the arsenal of expertise Mercedes can lean on prior to their entry into the championship, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff said that their extensive preparation was no guarantee of success.
“The combined know-how of the Mercedes family at Affalterbach, Brixworth and Brackley provides the perfect foundations for our new Mercedes EQ Formula E Team. I cannot imagine a better combination to take on this kind of project,” said Wolff.
“Formula E is a unique series with some very specific challenges for its teams. We know the level of competition is extremely high and we will approach the challenge with energy and humility. There can be no other approach when we are up against ten competitive manufacturers, many of whom have years of experience in the series.”
All images: Motorsport Images
What do you think of the increasing number of manufacturers becoming involved in Formula E? Do you think Mercedes can replicate their Formula One success in the all-electric championship? Leave your comments below.