Nyck de Vries will make his ABB FIA Formula E debut in season six driving for the new Mercedes EQ squad, partnering Stoffel Vandoorne who has been retained from HWA Racelab.
de Vries will move to Formula E from Formula 2, where he is on the verge of securing the 2019 title as he holds a gap of 59 points over nearest rival Nicholas Latifi with four races left to run.
Having grown up as part of the McLaren Formula 1 junior programme, the Dutchman left his role with the Woking-based team earlier this year and will now turn his attention to his new role with Mercedes in the all-electric series following some private testing for the German marque.
“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,” said the 24-year-old. “Formula E is a great platform that has already established itself as one of the biggest and most professional racing series outside Formula 1.
“It’s a great opportunity, for which I’m really grateful to Mercedes. I’ve had an excellent reception from the team, and it’s great fun to work with them. But ultimately, it will all depend on the performance on the race track once the season starts. It’s all pretty new to me. That’s why I honestly haven’t thought about setting myself any targets for my rookie season.
“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.”
Vandoorne will enter his second season of Formula E having debuted for HWA Racelab in season five, collecting a pole position and podium in what was an impressive rookie campaign.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Mercedes,” said the Belgian. “I’ve already gained experience of the series racing for HWA last year. I am very pleased to have now become an official member of the Mercedes family.
“The arrival of Mercedes on the scene is a great opportunity for all of us. The car looks fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team. The potential is huge, and I simply can’t wait to get started.”
The team will be headed by Ian James, recruited to be the Team Principal, who is pleased to be bringing the history of the German marque to the series.
“In Stoffel and Nyck, we have recruited two formidable and adaptable drivers who can continue to learn and grow with us in our debut season in Formula E,” says James. “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 achieve success, but we know that we have a steep learning curve ahead of us.”
15 of the 24 seats have now been filled for season six.