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James: Multi-German Rivalry “Adds to the Story”

Mercedes’ Ian James excited by four-way battle between leading German brands…

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes EQ team principal Ian James believes that the intra-German manufacturer battle between Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes will add to the spectacle of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

It will be the first time that all four brands have competed as factory entities in international motorsport for twenty years as both Mercedes and Porsche join the already established BMW and Audi concerns.

“I think [pressure] will come from the press if I am honest and especially the German press,” James told e-racing365.

“I think we have got to be very careful, at the end of the day a competitor is a competitor but also get it adds excitement to it, it adds to the story.

“At the end of the day, we are there for the sport and sport lives off the interest of the public and the fans. As a bit of a side story, it is not actually a bad thing to have.”

James also described how the Mercedes-Benz brand will adapt to all-electric messaging as it enters Formula E in November.

Mercedes’ production of the EQC SUV model started in May and will begin deliveries to the U.S. next year.

“Expect it to be fresh, expect it to be a little bit different from what you have seen before but as professional as you would expect Mercedes-Benz to be as a brand,” James said, regarding the brand outlook.

The German OEM also announced a partnership with Danish renewables technology expert Vestas which will join global rival Envision Energy in the championship.

“At the end of the day we are racing electric cars because there is that link to the electric road cars and that marketing platform, but that electricity has to come from somewhere, it has to be generated and Vestas is a pioneer in that with what they have done,” he said.

“If you are going to have a partnership, it has got to be authentic and it has got to be real – it can’t just be made up.

“I think if you take all of that together, we have got a great opportunity to do something which is just going to bring a different feel to the Formula E paddock and the Formula E events as well and I am excited about it.”

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

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