This week saw the exciting announcements of two new grid additions set to join Formula E for Season 6.
Mercedes announced first on July 24 that they would be quitting the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at the end of 2018 to join Formula E for the 2019/2020 season.
Porsche then followed this by confirming their exit from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) to join the all-electric series.
For season 6, it would mean that the all-electric championship would have 12 teams on the grid; more teams than Formula 1.
Other manufacturers already involved in the electric series include BMW, Renault, Jaguar and Citroen. Jaguar made their debut in season 3.
Mercedes has been a huge presence in DTM since the category was relaunched in 2000. After they departure, BMW and Audi will be left as the two remaining manufacturers, and has prompted them to evaluate their own futures in the series.
Mercedes will still continue Formula 1. Having supplied engines from 1994, the German manufacturer returned as a works team in 2010. The Silver Arrows have since won the last three Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships since 2014.
For Porsche, leaving the WEC and the LMP1 division has shocked many. Porsche’s 919 Hybrid has won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the past three years, as well as the 2015 and 2016 World Endurance Championships.
This, alongside Audi’s to quit the series, leaves Toyota as the only manufacturer currently committed for 2018.
Formula E’s chief executive Alejandro Agag spoke of his delight about the new manufacturers joining the sport:
“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 Formula E, leaves both DTM and WEC with big holes in their category.
Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for Formula E to increase its manufacturer appeal within motorsport.
Its growth from the debut of the series back in 2014 will be helped by German manufacturers, to promote the sport and its goals of sustainability.