Mercedes has announced after the end of the 2021 season that they will withdraw from Formula E. But now they are trying to find a return with another “full-fledged” manufacturer.
The Daimler board has actually decided to quit after the third season as their own team, but some key members of Mercedes want to seek a stay with another manufacturer. Team Principal Ian James and Formula E CEO Toto Wolff are some prominent opponents.
Mercedes’ announcement after the exit said, that the “team’s leadership group has begun exploring options for the team to continue competing in the series during the Gen3 era, including a potential sale to new owners.”
Ian James also had something to say to that topic.
“Although Mercedes-Benz has decided to leave, we recognise the value and power of Formula E; therefore, we will be exploring the best options for the team to continue competing beyond [the end of 2022].”
Ian James favored staying in Formula E in another form, and through Toto Wolff’s relationships with other teams, partnerships could happen.
“Honestly speaking, we have a load of different scenarios that we’re investigating at the moment.
“That will go all the way from being a full fat manufacturer competitor, as we are today, under one roof, so to speak, through to being a customer team in the future.
“There are different permutations of that in between those two extremes. We’re keeping all options open at the moment.
“I’m excited about the future. I’m excited about evaluating these options going forward. But I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
The Formula E regulations state that if an independent team wants a customer powertrain from another manufacturer, they must accept the request.
“The way that the series is structured, it allows that to happen. That’s a positive thing, because it gives as much flexibility as possible for the different entities that are involved,” James added.
Ian James also said that Mercedes wanted to move most of the activity to Brackley, at least next season will continue.
“Our season eight is unaffected. The intention was always to shift the majority of operations over to Brackley. The key centres, the key focus will be in Brackley and in Brixworth still. That’s all happening.
“I’ve been with Mercedes for 16 years, and I’ve never known the board to be anything other than strategic in their decision. What I mean by that is looking mid to long term.”