29 Oct 20

Continuity key for Mercedes-Benz EQ with Vandoorne and de Vries back for 2020/21 Formula E campaign

Mercedes-Benz EQ heads into its second season in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with an unchanged line-up as Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries partner once again to pilot the Silver Arrow 02.

Mercedes-Benz EQ's maiden Formula E campaign reached a final round crescendo with a stunning one-two; Stoffel Vandoorne leading rookie team-mate Nyck de Vries home for a maiden win and podium for the pair in Formula E, respectively.

The Stuttgart team flew out of the blocks with a pair of podiums in the season-opening Saudi Arabia double-header from Diriyah and laid down a marker for the rest with that dominant display in Round 11 as the team came home third in the Teams' table.

Team principal Ian James feels continuity with the retention of a successful driver partnership will ensure the outfit puts its best foot forward in 2020/21.

"We were very pleased with Stoffel and Nyck last season," said team principal Ian James. "They both turned in strong performances, gained valuable experience with the team and showed that they have the right skill sets for Formula E.

"They are not only incredibly fast but also have the intelligence and mental capacity to deal with energy management and the unique nature of the races in Formula E. They can now bring this experience to bear in Season 7."

Tried and tested

Vandoorne heads into his third season in the championship, with 24 E-Prix under his belt, a victory in that Berlin finale, two Julius Baer Pole Positions and four podiums to his name.

The Belgian sealed second in the Drivers’ standings behind champion Antonio Felix da Costa, following team-mate de Vries’ late move on previous incumbent Sebastien Buemi with just two laps remaining in the final round of the season. 

"I'm really looking forward to racing again," said the 28-year-old. "It seems like ages since the last time out, racing in Berlin. We've done some testing with the new car since then and it was real nice to get back behind the wheel but nothing can come close to the feeling of going up against the best in the field.

"I can't wait to see how we do with our new car next year. We were able to successfully conclude last season with a win and I hope that we can fight for podiums and victories again next year and can close the gap on the guys at the top a little bit more. Let's wait and see how it goes."

Race Highlights | Round 11 | 2020 Berlin E-Prix

De Vries made his debut in Season 6, entering Formula E as the reigning Formula 2 champion, and ended the year as the best-placed rookie in 11th spot in the Drivers' Championship. His maiden podium came in Round 11, as he helped secure the team's first one-two finish in the series.

"I am delighted to be able to contest a second season in Formula E with the team," said de Vries. "We had a strong debut season together, although it was a bit of a strange year, in which COVID-19 changed everything after a few races.

"Fortunately, we were still able to finish the season on a positive note and I'm now looking forward to what will hopefully be a more normal season in 2021. I hope too that I can get to know all the new circuits that I haven't been able to compete on so far.

"I feel very comfortable in the team and hope we can use the foundations we have built together to achieve more success next year."

Off-season developments 

The team will race the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 02 for 2020/21, developing on last year's car, with the biggest changes found beneath the bodywork in the form of a new powertrain.

Mercedes is undergoing a intensive programme of testing and simulation ahead of Formula E's pre-season test in Valencia next month, and Round 1 of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Santiago to come in January next year.

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