Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will be departing the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) touring car series after next year’s season, as it moves to Formula E to join rivals Audi and BMW. “Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” said Mercedes-Benz Motorsport chief Toto Wolff.

Stuttgart first joined the predecessor to the modern DTM series, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft series in 1988, taking its first title win in 1992. It continued to win in 1994 and 1995 before the series closed at the end of 1996 (as the International Touring Car Championship).

The company picked up where it left off when the revamped DTM series took over in 2000, resuming its string of title wins in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. “Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves,” he said.

Special Model Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé Edition 1 and the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM racing coupé

Its DTM title chase also means that the German automaker is deferring its Formula E entry to the 2019/2020 season, which will give them “time to properly understand” the electric single-seater race series and prepare for its entry “in the right way,” Wolff said. This comes with a reiteration of Mercedes’ commitment to Formula 1, which has been bolstered by the renewal of Petronas title sponsorship.

“In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects. The combination of Formula 1 and Formula E delivers that,” he said. “Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience.” reported that Mercedes’ Formula E effort will be run by HWA, a motorsport outfit based in Affalterbach which has been commissioned by Daimler as a full-service provider for the automaker’s racing endeavours, including its current DTM efforts. The company was established in 1998 as a spin-off of AMG, after the latter was sold to Mercedes.