What Does Mercedes’ Abrupt Formula E Exit Mean for Drivers De Vries & Vandoorne?

Published 08/15/2021, 8:54 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during qualifiying REUTERS/Florion Goga


Mercedes will reportedly exit from the Formula E championship and will make their decision known in the coming days. Mercedes EQ is in its second season with the sport. Moving from the HWA Racelab outfit, the team’s debut season with Formula E ended with a stunning P3 in the team championship. Currently, driver Nyck de Vries leads the driver’s championship by three points.

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The company had signed a delayed option to begin car development for the new Gen3 rules. However, Mercedes hasn’t committed to the regulations yet. The marque issued a statement stating the need for “clarification over important details regarding the structure of the series.”

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CEO Toto Wolff told Autosport that “A decision has been taken.” He added, “If Mercedes were to leave, which we haven’t said, then, of course, you need to work on alternative strategies. We are in the sport not only because we guys like to compete and drive around in circles. But it is mainly a marketing and communications platform.”

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Regarding the team, Wolff concluded, “We have a team that is fully functional, that we can be proud of in a series that is good fun. We have also a certain degree of responsibility towards the team and the series.”

What does this mean for Mercedes EQ drivers?

Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne represent the Silver Arrows on Formula E race pool. Do the two drivers have any prospects for the big league?

Vandoorne was the reserve driver for McLaren Mercedes in 2014, while also competing in the GP2 Series where he won the championship with ART GP. He’s had his time in the F1 monocoque, replacing an injured Fernando Alonso in 2016. Vandoorne finished his debut in Bahrain, with points in the bag.

Steering the Silver Arrow 01, the Belgian driver sits on an unimpressive 15th on the Formula E board.

Nyck de Vries, on the other hand, leads the pool. With the final E-Prix coming up, the Dutch driver shows promise in bringing the championship home. He also had an impressive run in Formula 2, taking the title with four wins and eight podiums in the 2019 season.

In his rookie season with the upcoming Mercedes team, de Vries showed great potential despite the team facing problems finding footing with the new sport.

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The 2021 season has only been great for the driver as he made ground with a win and four podiums. Not to mention, Nyck is also the test and reserve driver for Mercedes F1. Is that a boost in the game?

In a scenario where Russell finally gets the Mercedes seat, will Toto Wolff have an eye out for his Formula E racers? And if so, will he choose experience over performance? Or, as he told Autosport: ‘It’s much more nuanced.”

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Shreya Sanjeev

348 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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