ABB FIA Formula E Championship newcomers Mercedes-Benz EQ have confirmed that Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will pilot their Gen2 challenger, the Silver Arrow 01, for the carmaker’s factory debut in the all-electric championship.
Having been teammate to Mercedes stalwart Gary Paffett for the 2018-19 season in the brand’s ‘soft launch’ partnership with HWA Racelab, Vandoorne will now be partnered by current FIA Formula 2 Championship leader Nyck de Vries for the coming season.
Vandoorne performed strongly in his first season of racing in the Formula E Championship, claiming pole position at the Hong Kong ePrix and a third place at the Rome ePrix. He was one of just three drivers to be awarded FanBoost at every single race.
After being dropped from the McLaren Formula 1 team’s development programme at the beginning of the year, de Vries responded with a dominant Formula 2 Championship campaign where his performances have impressed Mercedes.
“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,” the Dutch youngster said.
“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.”
The team will continue to be run day-to-day by HWA Racelab although managerial oversight will come from Ian James, who joins as its new Team Principal. The outfit will also receive support from the current Formula 1 champions, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
“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,” James said.
“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.”
|2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||TBA|
|Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
||Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|Envision Virgin Racing||Sam Bird||Robin Frijns|
||Sébastien Buemi||Oliver Rowland|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team
||Stoffel Vandoorne||Nyck de Vries|
|GEOX Dragon||Brendon Hartley||TBA|
|NIO 333 FE Team
|TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team||André Lotterer||Neel Jani|
Images via ABB FIA Formula E Championship