Mercedes Benz announced that it will leave the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) after the 2018 tournament and that it will start participating in the Formula E championship from 2019/2020.
"The years in the DTM will always be an important part of our motorsports history," said Toto Wolff, Mercedes' head of motorsports.
“Even though the start is difficult for all of us, we are going to do everything this season and the next to win as many DTM titles as possible before leaving. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves, ”Wolff added.
In total, Mercedes has won 10 drivers' titles and 13 team titles since the category was founded in 1988. It was only absent between 1997 and 1999. In the DTM, the factory celebrated 183 victories, 128 pole positions and 540 podiums.
Mercedes, BMW and Audi are the current brands in the category, which had already suffered a strong impact in 2005, when Opel retired. For six years, until the entry of BMW, it only had two manufacturers, a situation that would be repeated in 2019 if no new competitor enters.
“I am pleased that we have been able to extend the existing entry option for one more year until the 2019/20 season. That way we will have the time to get to know the series and properly prepare to start, ”said Wolff of Mercedes' new challenge.
"Today is a great day because we can welcome Mercedes into the Formula E family," said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of the electric car category. "With this, more and more manufacturers are participating in the growing electrical revolution."
The movements of Mercedes, with the withdrawal of the DTM and the entry into Formula E, will not affect the development of the team in Formula 1, their authorities indicated.[sam_pro id = 0_1 codes = ”true”]