Toto Wolff says Mercedes is “excited and curious” to enter Formula E in 2019 and find out if the championship is “racing” or “more an event” for manufacturers to prove their electric credentials.
Mercedes announced in July 2017 it would be joining the Formula E grid from the start of the series’ sixth season in late 2019, joining manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Porsche and Nissan in the championship.
The HWA Racelab team will make its debut in Formula E this weekend ahead of its evolution into the Mercedes works operation for Season 6, with Mercedes head of motorsport Wolff eager to see how the series stacks up as a racing spectacle.
“The automotive industry is changing and becoming more electrical, and what Alejandro Agag has done with Formula E and how he has grown it is spectacular,” Wolff said.
“It’s a laying ground for many OEMs these days, and we benchmarked all the series. We feel that Formula 1 is perfect for us because it’s a global sport, it’s the pinnacle of motor racing, and Formula E somehow represents an exciting start-up.
“We don’t know how it goes: is it racing? Is it more an event? But we like what it is today and we are excited and curious to join the series in 2019 and see if we can be successful or not.
“It’s about electrification, it’s about being downtown in the cities, attracting new audiences, and having Formula E on one side as an exciting start-up, and on the other side, Formula 1 as our Mercedes-AMG as the global sport, works well for us.”
On the subject of Formula E, the season begins in Ad Diriyah in just two days time. Can Sebastien Buemi, Lucas Di Grassi, Nelson Piquet Jr or Jean-Eric Vergne defend their title? Or will we get a new champion?