At the IAA, Mercedes-Benz just presented the racing car for its premiere Formula E season. The German carmaker is cautious with modest targets for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01.
Former Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne and the current leader of the FIA Formula 2 Championship Nyck de Vries will take their seats in the two cockpits of the electric silver arrow for the team’s debut season, which starts at the end of November 2019. HWA from Affalterbach, Germany, is responsible for racing the cars. Last season HWA Racelab already gained Formula E experience with the team HWA Racelab.
“In Stoffel and Nyck, we have recruited two formidable and adaptable drivers who can continue to learn and grow with us in our debut season in Formula E,” said Ian James, Team Principal of the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team. “At Mercedes-Benz, we can look back on 125 years in motor racing. However, we know that Formula E is very different from any other series we have ever competed in. We are doing everything we can to achieve success, but we know that we have a steep learning curve ahead of us”.
The HWA Racelab season has not always been without problems. Well established teams enjoyed a big lead. The team is supported by the reigning Formula 1 Constructors’ World Champion, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport from Brackley. The Formula 1 engine developers from Mercedes, who are based in Brixworth, also played an important role in the development. “Fortunately for us, the experts who develop our Formula E powertrain have already accumulated a great deal of experience with Formula 1 hybrid power units,” says Team Principal, James. “This knowledge transfer is helping us immensely, but Formula E is a completely different challenge, and we shouldn’t underestimate that fact.”
With the entry of Mercedes and Porsche, four factory teams from German car manufacturers will be competing in the coming season, which starts with two races in Saudi Arabia in November. Two years ago Audi Sport took over the assignment from its long-standing partner Abt, while BMW took over the Andretti team last year. In addition to the four German manufacturers, PSA (with the DS brand), Nissan and Nio are also competing as factory teams in Formula E – even though the Nio team is currently for sale. In addition to the manufacturers, customer teams such as Virgin, Venturi and Dragon will also compete.