Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has spoken about big exits from Formula E.
Mercedes joined Formula E in 2019, and achieved major honours quickly. Nyck de Vries, the Mercedes driver, won the 2020-21 Drivers’ Championship driving their car. However, the German team will not continue to build a legacy like they did in Formula 1.
Recently, Mercedes announced their withdrawal from Formula E at the end of next season. Even though Formula E is an up-and-coming sport that only promises to rise, Mercedes feel they can only commit to Formula 1. They want to develop their motorsport vehicle on the flagship version of the sport.
It’s not just Mercedes who are backing down. Rival manufacturers BMW and Audi have also announced their withdrawal from the sport. That’s three major teams gone, but Wolff feels it isn’t that bad. The Austrian spoke about the big exits, and said it could be a chance to repackage the sport.
Speaking to Bild, Wolff said, “Upheavals always offer opportunities for change.
“At first glance, of course, it’s unfortunate that three premium manufacturers are pulling out in one fell swoop. But maybe Formula E just needs a kind of reboot to take the next step. Other teams, possibly more private ones, will grow because they will come into the spotlight.”
Wolff’s wife Susie is a team boss in the sport. Her team Venturi’s driver, Edoardo Mortara, was beaten by de Vries and pipped to the title. Wolff assured that the family dynamic isn’t affected by what happened in Formula E, and stated that he was happy for other drivers as well.
“Of course we were very happy about the title,” Wolff said.
“But Edoardo Mortara not only became runner-up, but Susie’s driver Norman Nato also won the last Berlin race. That has to be considered at least an equal success.
“To make a private team competitive without a big corporation behind it and to lead it to Grand Prix victories and a vice World Championship can hardly be rated highly enough,” he concluded.