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Wolff: Mercedes HPP Experience “Is Key”

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ UK performance branch will be vital in quest for Formula E success…

Photo: Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has explained that the UK-based Mercedes High Performance Powertrain (HPP) center was the obvious choice to lead the technical birth of the company’s first electric racing car.

Speaking at last weekend’s Berlin E-Prix, Wolff stressed that the experience of the HPP team – which has developed world title-winning hybrid powertrains for Formula 1 – would be “key” to the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team operation.

The manufacturer revealed last week that its entry into the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will see responsibilities shared between the HPP facility in Brixworth, UK, and the HWA factory in Germany.

HPP will design and develop the first ever Mercedes Formula E powertrain for its Season Six debut at the end of 2019, while HWA will direct the operational side.

“We want to take the best of both worlds from Brixworth and their experience of F1 with engineering involvement and with HWA who have been our long-term partner in DTM, so I think it is a good combination to start the project,” Wolff told e-racing365.

“It was a straightforward decision really because the capabilities at HPP lend themselves so much to this project; their experience is key.”

Mercedes Yet to Start Driver Lineup Decisions

Wolff has articulated his satisfaction with the all-electric series but said that a defined driver lineup has yet to be considered.

Mercedes has a presence on the current Formula E grid with works-contracted drivers Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel both driving for Venturi, which will supply customer powertrains to HWA next season.

“We are looking forward to being here. Looking at it now, it is already impressive and it will only get better so this is why we come,” said Wolff.

“We haven’t really started looking at it yet in terms of specific drivers but obviously the most important thing is the Mercedes family.

“There are drivers with experience already, yes, but we haven’t given it a lot of thought just yet.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kris G.

    May 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Looking back, the actual powertrain formula used in F1 was responsible for Williams and McLaren increased know-how in the production of battery technology and electric motors (the first season FE car used a McLaren motor the same used in their P1 road car, the 1Gen FE car made use of a Williams battery pack and the 2Gen one will use a new McLaren developed pack). Mercedes has all the ingredients at their disposal to build a winner car for FE and their approach will be very thought, first HWA will enter FE next season using Venturi motors to learn and build the team and then Mercedes will take over to compete with their new EQ brand,

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