Newcomers Mercedes-Benz EQ reveal the new Gen2 challenger - the Silver Arrow 01 - alongside drivers Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne and Team Principal Ian James.
After competing alongside British driver and DTM Champion Gary Paffett for the 2018/19 season, Vandoorne is now joined by Dutchman Nyck de Vries for the 2019/20 campaign. Still in the heat of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship, where he currently tops the drivers’ standings, de Vries will round off his season with the final race in Abu Dhabi one week after making his Formula E debut in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s a very special feeling to be asked to drive for Mercedes-Benz EQ in Formula E, and I am honoured that the team have chosen me as one of their two drivers,” says the Dutchman.
“Formula E is a great platform that has already established itself as one of the biggest and most professional racing series alongside Formula 1. It’s a great opportunity, for which I’m really grateful to Mercedes.
"Essentially, Mercedes are aiming to be contenders for race wins and championship trophies.
"Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later. But until then, the team and I expect a steep learning curve before we can become truly competitive," added de Vries.
Taking on the role of Team Principal is seasoned Mercedes-Benz boss Ian James. With experience across the board with the marque, James will be tasked with seeing the team through its debut season in Formula E, going up against rivals BWM, Audi and Porsche.
“In Stoffel and Nyck, we have recruited two formidable and adaptable drivers who can continue to learn and grow with us in our Formula E debut season,” says Ian James, Team Principal of the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team.
“At Mercedes-Benz, we can look back on 125 years in motor racing. However, we know that Formula E is very different from any other series we have ever competed in.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure success, but we also have enough humility to realise that we have a steep learning curve ahead of us.
After building on the learnings from a season as HWA Racelab, the Mercedes-Benz squad will still hand over the responsibility for managing the cars on race weekends to the Affalterbach-based developer. The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team also receives support from the reigning Formula One constructors champions, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, at Brackley.
But it's not all about the wheel-to-wheel battles on track. Like Formula E, Mercedes-Benz will be looking to translate its learnings from the inner-city circuits to its electric mobility on the road, in the form of its EQ branded cars.
“Formula E brings all the enthusiasm and passion for racing to city centres, which is an absolutely unique concept,” says Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff.
“This makes the series a completely new playing field for us. But we are looking forward to the challenge of demonstrating the performance of our intelligent battery-electric drives in motorsport as well, and of giving a positive boost to the EQ brand.”
“In Formula E, we have the opportunity to speak to a younger target group that has an interest in the future of mobility, particularly in the inner-city areas of major metropolises,” adds Wolff.
“At the same time, it is a fantastic platform to ensure that the sustainability principle reaches this target group as well.
"Of course, we are first and foremost racers, but for me this relationship is one of the other driving factors behind our involvement in Formula E.”