Mercedes confirm De Vries and Vandoorne for inaugural season

The Mercedes EQ Formula E Team today announced that Formula 2 championship leader Nyck De Vries will join Stoffel Vandoorne at the German outfit for Formula E’s sixth season; Mercedes’ first as a works team in Formula E.

Mercedes confirmed their commitment to Formula E back in 2017 and entered last season under the HWA Racelab name, using Venturi powertrains, in preparation for this year’s effort.

Stoffel Vandoorne has been retained from the team after a very impressive rookie season which involved five superpole appearances, including a pole position in Hong Kong as well as a podium finish in Rome, eventually ending up in 16th in the championship.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Mercedes,” beamed the Belgian. “I’ve already gained experience of the series racing for HWA last year. I am very pleased to have now become an official member of the Mercedes family.”

“The arrival of Mercedes on the scene is a great opportunity for all of us. The car looks fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team. The potential is huge, and I simply can’t wait to get started.”

Nyck de Vries will make his Formula E debut in Ad Diriyah in November, a week before he completes his Formula 2 campaign, a series that the Dutchman currently leads by almost 60 points. De Vries is no stranger to Formula E though, having completed test days for Audi Sport in Marrakesh last season and in season four.

“It’s a very special feeling to be asked to drive for Mercedes-Benz EQ in Formula E, and I am honoured that the team have chosen me as one of their two drivers,” explained the Dutchman. “Formula E is a great platform that has already established itself as one of the biggest and most professional racing series outside Formula 1. It’s a great opportunity, for which I’m really grateful to Mercedes.”

“I’ve had an excellent reception from the team, and it’s great fun to work with them. But ultimately, it will all depend on the performance on the race track once the season starts. It’s all pretty new to me. That’s why I honestly haven’t thought about setting myself any targets for my rookie season. Essentially, Mercedes are aiming to be contenders for race wins and championship trophies. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later. But until then, the team and I expect a steep learning curve before we can become truly competitive.”

Mercedes team principle Ian James echoed De Vries in not setting any explicit performance targets or goals for the team ahead of their first season.

“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.” Explained James.

“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.”

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