Mercedes has confirmed that it will sever its ties with the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) to line up on the Formula E grid from the beginning of the 2019/20 season.
The car manufacturer will join the sixth edition of the International Automobile Federation (FIA)-sanctioned electric vehicle racing series as part of a strategic repositioning of its motorsport activities.
The Stuttgart-based brand had initially signed an agreement to compete in Formula E from the start of the 2018/19 campaign, but opted to delay its debut season by a further year in order to develop a better understanding of the competition.
Mercedes has been an integral part of the DTM since it was relaunched in 2000, and its departure will leave the domestic touring car series with only two manufacturers, BMW and Audi, for the first time since 2011.
The announcement comes shortly after rival German carmaker Audi confirmed that it will join Formula E for the 2017/18 season, and Mercedes will also be racing against entries from BMW, Renault, Jaguar, Citroen and Mahindra.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes-Benz’s head of motorsport, said: “Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes. Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go.
“In motorsport, like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects. The combination of Formula One and Formula E delivers that. Formula E is like an exciting startup venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies.
“I am pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.”