Mercedes will be starting a fresh chapter in its long and successful racing history as Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship gets underway. Two all-electric racing cars from the new Mercedes EQ Formula E Team will join the series for the start of the 2019/20 season.
Experience and know-how from Formula 1 and DTM
With technology that is as innovative as it is complex, Formula E is a new racing world, which is why newcomers have so much to learn and so many challenges to master. The Mercedes EQ Formula E Team is able to draw on the combined experience and technical know-how of its motorsport family and successful motor racing pedigree.
The heart of the new car will be developed at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in the UK. The Brixworth technology hub is the Daimler Group’s global centre of excellence for high-performance hybrid technology. HPP has set the benchmark for hybrid expertise in Formula 1 for many years. The team is now capitalising on its expertise with high-performance electric motors to develop the powertrain for the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team.
The in-house engineers have been working on challenging high-performance projects for more than a decade including the original KERS Hybrid system in Formula One and the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive electric super sports car which was developed jointly with Mercedes-AMG.
However, it is the expertise acquired during the development journey of the current F1 hybrid power unit that will form the cornerstone of the Formula E technical project. At the inception of the hybrid power unit, the strategic decision was taken to develop the Energy Recovery System (ERS) as an integrated part of the overall Power Unit. This led to rapid in-house learning around both hardware, including the high-power electric motors, and the associated deployment systems which optimise the power delivery of hybrid energy in the racing environment.
The end result of this development journey has not just been world championship success. It has generated transferable learning which is finding its first expression in the Project One, bringing F1 technology to the road, and which will continue to enrich future performance car development. And it has built a world-class centre of expertise which will now expand its scope of attention to include the unique challenges of Formula E.
The Mercedes EQ Formula E Team plans to call on the proven expertise of HWA AG in Affalterbach for its trackside race operations. HWA has traditionally been responsible for design, development and operations of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM cars. The record books show that HWA is the most successful team in DTM history with ten drivers’, 13 team and six constructors’ titles.
The reigning Formula 1 World Champion team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will also play a supporting role. The Brackley-based team has won four drivers’ world championships and four constructors’ championships, all with hybrid power, in the past four years.
Proper preparation is key
In addition to technical expertise, proper preparation will also play a key role in the run-up to the team’s race debut in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. HWA AG is already active in the all-electric racing series and is supporting Monaco-based Team Venturi as a technical partner during the current Season 4 (2017/18).
For next season, Season 5 (2018/19), HWA AG will enter the championship as a Venturi customer team, which will give the team vital racing experience with the new Gen2 cars being used from Season 5 onwards.
The combined know-how of the Mercedes family at Affalterbach, Brixworth and Brackley provides the perfect foundations for our new Mercedes EQ Formula E Team. I cannot imagine a better combination to take on this kind of project – said Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff. Formula E is a unique series with some very specific challenges for its teams. We know the level of competition is extremely high and we will approach the challenge with energy and humility. There can be no other approach when we are up against ten competitive manufacturers, many of whom have years of experience in the series.
Here the interview that Electric Motor News made with Toto Wolff at Formula E Berlin ePrix
Moving into the future with Electric Intelligence
The Mercedes EQ Formula E Team will contest its first race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Season 6 (2019/20). Mercedes-Benz is already involved as a partner in the European Formula E races in Rome, Paris, Berlin and Zurich with its EQ brand.
The name EQ stands for ‘Electric Intelligence’ and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of ‘Emotion and Intelligence’. The EQ brand encompasses all key aspects for customer-focused electric mobility and extends beyond the vehicle itself. The spectrum ranges from electric vehicles to wall boxes and charging services to home energy storage.
As regards to the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team, the EQ designation forms an integral part of the name, so Electric Intelligence will now feature on the starting grid of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Season 6.