This week saw the exciting announcements of two new grid additions set to join Formula E for Season 6.
Mercedes announced first on the 24th that they would be quitting The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at the end of 2018 and joining FE for the 2019/2020 season. Porsche then followed by announcing on the 28th that they would be leaving the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and joining FE in 2019.
For season 6, it would mean that the all-electric championship would have 12 teams on the grid, including Mercedes and Porsche, more teams than Formula 1. Other manufacturers already involved in the electric series include BMW, Renault, Jaguar and Citroen. Jaguar made their debut for the 2016/2017 season as a return to motorsport.
Mercedes has been a huge presence in DTM since the category was relaunched in 2000. After their departure, it would leave BMW and Audi as the two remaining manufacturers. The decision has prompted BMW and Audi to evaluate their own futures in the series.
Mercedes will still continue with their involvement in F1. Having supplied engines from 1994, the German manufacture joined the sport as a team in 2010, Mercedes have secured the last 3 Constructors and Drivers championships since 2014.
For Porsche, leaving the World Endurance Championship and the LMP1 division has shocked many. Porsche’s prototype 919 Hybrid won the Le Mans 24 Hours in each of the past three years and also won the 2015 and 2016 World Endurance Championships. Porsche’s and Audi’s decision to quit less than a year ago, leaves Toyota as the only manufacturer potentially committed for 2018.
FE chief executive Alejandro Agag added: “If somebody told me when we started this project five years ago, that we’d be announcing a partnership with a brand like Porsche, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
With both Mercedes and Porsche leaving their respective series to join FE leaves each series with a hole in their category.
Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for FE to have an impressive list of manufacturers involved with the sport. Its growth from the debut of the series back in 2014 will be helped by German manufacturers. Promoting the sport and its goals of sustainability.