On Sunday there was a big party in the Mercedes pits. Nyck de Vries had become the first Formula E world champion. Together with the Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, the 26-year-old Dutchman also won the team title for the Mercedes-EQ racing team. This means that the team around Motorsport Director Toto Wolff has already achieved in its second season what the Formula 1 team needed five years for. Since 2014, however, the Silver Arrows have dominated the premier class, especially with Lewis Hamilton in the cockpit. "We can be proud of our successes in Formula E," says Wolff, "especially the fact that we won the World Championship double, which is a historic milestone in the history of Mercedes-Benz motorsport."

That was kind of the end of an episode. Because there will be no comparable success story for the electrical department in racing. Just three days after triumphing at the finale in Berlin, the Stuttgart-based automobile manufacturer announced on Wednesday, not unexpectedly, that it would be leaving Formula E after the 2022 season Electrification "want to redistribute.

Allegedly, a Formula 1 season cost 30 million euros.

The group announced a month ago that the entire range of vehicles should be fully electrified before the end of this decade, if the conditions in the various markets allow it.

For this purpose, three new electrical architectures must be developed, which are to be introduced in 2025.

The resources and the knowledge gathered in Formula E should therefore be implemented in product development for series production.

Costs shouldn't explode

After Audi and BMW, who contested their last Formula E race last Sunday, the electric series is losing another manufacturer with charisma. “It pains us that they go, but we were happy that they were there, they were great partners,” said Formula E boss Jamie Reigle in a video interview with the FAZ. “There are championships that have even fewer manufacturers. "

In Formula 1, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and, until the end of the year, Honda were to be found as engine suppliers. However, the Canadian seems to have understood that he must act. The costs should not continue to explode. As in Formula 1, a budget cap is to be introduced in Formula E. Although all teams have to use the same chassis and batteries, the development of the drive train, consisting of motors, transmissions, inverters and the rear suspension, is free.

In contrast to Formula 1, in which a new monoposto is usually presented every year, in Formula E so far only new vehicles and technologies are presented every four years. The next step is planned for the 2023 season. The output is to increase by 100 kilowatts to 350 (476 hp) in qualifying, and 300 kilowatts (408 hp) can then be used in the race. The batteries are charged during a quick charge stop. In addition, the racing cars should then be able to recuperate 600 kW instead of the previous 250 kW via a standard system on the front axle. All of this requires huge expenses that Mercedes is not ready to make.

It remains to be seen what a Formula E commitment will bring a company.

“Marketing value and technology transfer have to go hand in hand,” Wolff once explained.

But while a learning effect was definitely noticeable, the enthusiasm of the fans fell short of expectations.

"Greater potential in Formula 1"

BMW therefore drew the conclusion at the end of last year: “We don't just want to communicate a technology, we want to reach our fans and our community and have a lasting impact on our brand,” explained Motorsport Director Markus Flasch after leaving: “In my opinion, that has with the Formula E commitment doesn't work. ”A spicy note: Last weekend, BMW was once again the title sponsor of the race in Berlin at its farewell performance.

Mercedes' exit from Formula E next August should not be understood as the beginning of the Group's withdrawal from motorsport. "In the future, we will drive technological progress - especially with regard to electric drives - with a focus on Formula 1," announced Head of Research Markus Schäfer: "Formula 1 offers great potential for technology transfer." However, with a hybrid drive concept for the foreseeable future.

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