Mercedes-Benz has announced that they will be exiting the German Touring Masters (DTM) European racing series after the 2018 season. The Stuttgart manufacturer has always been heavily involved in the DTM series especially after its relaunch in 2000. Following their departure, the 2019 DTM season would leave only BMW and Audi as the two lone manufacturers in the series.
"Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes. "I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time." said Toto Wolff, Mercedes motorsport boss.
Along with them exiting the DTM series, Mercedes-Benz has also confirmed their entry into the Formula E series. The automaker will be making its debut in the all-electric open-wheeled series in season six (2019-2020), unlike other automakers such as Audi and BMW, who will be joining in season five (2018-2019). Wolff explained that the reason behind the delay is for the team to be able to study and properly prepare for the series.
"Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience - and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series," added Wolff.
With only two manufacturers left in DTM, could Audi and BMW alone carry the entire series? BMW and Audi have also confirmed entry into Formula E in the upcoming season, could they soon leave DTM as well? It seems ever more likely that Formula E will play a big part in future motorsports. For now, we will have to wait and see what will happen at the start of 2019.