Mercedes reveals 2019/20 Formula E team with Vandoorne / de Vries lineup
The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team unveiled its car today for the 2019/20 Formula E championship at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries confirmed as drivers and long-time Daimler executive Ian James as team principal.
The car features a striking black and silver livery with sponsorship from Danish wind turbine company Wind turbine company Vestas
Having already carried out some private testing throughout the summer, the team will make its official FE debut at the Valencia pre-season test in mid-October ahead of its full debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in November.
After initially confirming its intention to enter FE in the summer of 2017, Mercedes entered its affiliated HWA team to compete last season, finishing ninth overall in the teams’ championship with a best result of third place at the Rome E-Prix.
While ex-F1 driver Vandoorne has been retained, Brit Gary Paffett loses his seat after a difficult debut campaign last season during which he scored just nine points.
It’s understood that Vandoorne’s deal to race for the works Mercedes team was agreed some time ago, while F2 driver de Vries emerged as a contender in recent weeks after E-Racing 365 reported back in August that the Dutchman had tested for the team.
In addition to de Vries and Vandoorne, the departing Paffett was another driver to have carried out development work for the team earlier this year, along with Mercedes-affiliated drivers Edoardo Mortara and Esteban Gutierrez.
De Vries, who has recent FE experienced having tested with the Audi team at the 2018 Marrakesh rookie test, said of his signing: “I think that Formula E has established itself as one of the biggest racing categories alongside F1, and to be part of Mercedes in that kind of championship [made the decision easy].
“Every driver shares the shame passion to reach F1, but i’m very grateful and happy for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.
“Obviously, carrying the pride of the star is a real honour for me. As a kid I watched the brand and the cars, so honestly I feel very privileged to become part of the family and I hope I can make them proud.”
Vandoorne said of Mercedes’ prospects for its debut season: “We’ve been doing a lot of testing and it’s been busy days for us but the first impression is good and we’ve come a long way [since we began working as HWA] but it’s when we get to the races when we’ll know where we put ourselves.
“We have a lot of potential behind this project but we’ll have to wait and see what it’s going to be like.
“Everything I did before Formula E was very different but I’ve enjoyed the switch to electric. Now with Mercedes joining it will make [the championship] very different, and hopefully we can make it a successful chapter.”
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