Brands queue up to exit Formula E

Audi Formula E car

Audi was the first to quit Formula E, and set the tone for more

Audi

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Is Formula E beginning to lose its shine? After early success in attracting big name brands, many manufacturers have now formed a disorderly queue to leave the electric single-seater series.

First up for the exit is Audi, which gave notice of its withdrawal ahead of the recent season finale in Germany. It will instead pour the electrical know-how gained from FE into its new all-electric Dakar project, plus its return to Le Mans with an LMDh programme from 2022.

Almost as soon as Audi’s shockwave had subsided, BMW followed suit, claiming it would end its involvement to better focus on building and developing electric road cars. It also happens to have an LMDh project on the go, aimed at 2023.

And now Mercedes – fresh from winning both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ 2020-21 Formula E titles with Nyck de Vries – is also tipped to turn its back on the championship, with an announcement expected soon.

Formula E will switch to a new Gen3 car for the 2022 season, giving manufacturers a natural window to reset.

While the big three German brands are off, it also leaves question marks against Porsche – another LMDh entry – but its motor sport boss Fritz Enzinger said: “Porsche is convinced of the unique concept and stage in order to strengthen electric mobility and to reach another audience and bring our electric powertrains from the track to the road.”

Jaguar Land Rover has already committed to FE’s new Gen3 era.