Mercedes-Benz’s first ever all-electric race car was publicly unveiled at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show on Wednesday ahead of its ABB FIA Formula E Championship debut later this year.
The car, which will be known as the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01, will be driven by Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries for its maiden season which kicks off in Saudi Arabia in November.
The Mercedes EQ team’s team principal Ian James stated that the team is aiming to climb a “steep learning curve” in its first season after a preparatory campaign by the HWA Racelab concern during the 2018-19 campaign.
“You will never see the dominance by one team as you do in any other series just because the way it is structured and I think it is all the better for it,” James told e-racing365.
“In terms of our own expectations, I expect it will be tough and I expect us to go through a steep learning curve and its partly my job to make sure that is as steep as possible and we climb it and come on as quickly as possible.
“I’m hoping we have a couple of highlights through the season, that would be my desire.”
James also said that Mercedes motorsport board members were not expecting immediate success.
“Racers want to win but there is a great balance at the moment between [the board] giving me support and the team support without putting too much pressure on, but I’ve no doubt that will come, no doubt at all,” he confirmed.
Godof Heads Powertrain Tech Team
The team leader of engineering at the Mercedes-Benz High Performance Powertrains division in the UK is the driving creative force behind Mercedes’ first Formula E powertrain.
Pierre Godof has formed a bespoke team of engineers to work on the powertrain for Mercedes’ first all-electric race car.
Godof has 16 years of experience to call upon in his role as an engineer with Mercedes’ dedicated powertrain facility.
E-racing365 revealed in January that Godof is heading the design and development of the Mercedes EQ powertrain and was appointed as chief engineer for the Formula E powertrain in July last year.
“Our chief engineer of the powertrain is Pierre Godof and then what we will is integrate that in to the package as a whole and Franco Chiocchetti is instrumental thanks to his Formula E experience,” said Ian James.
“So what we have done is we have brought those areas together and there is a phenomenal amount of collaboration between them.”
James also outlined the delicate organization that has gone into structuring the various entities to utilize in the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team operation.
“In terms of engineering we are conscious they need to protect wat they are doing in Formula 1 and we need to protect what we are doing in Formula E, so we are very careful in how that is structured,” said James.
“At the same time for specific topics that may be of use we can draw upon them for advice.”
E-racing365 understands that technical meetings are completed under the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team banner rather than as individual employees from the HPP and HWA areas of the Mercedes family.