Mercedes sent F1 engineers along to the Marrakesh Formula E race, reports Sam Smith of motorsport.com. The experienced racing journalist believes that there’s quite some significance to seeing the technical staff in the paddock, especially given that the German marque has reserved a place in the series from season five.
Mercedes was actively studying the Marrakesh ePrix last weekend with two key and experienced personnel on-site to prepare for a potential entry into the Formula E Championship in 2018.
Neil Martin and Steve Clark, engineering leads from the Mercedes F1 team, were in Marrakesh meeting with Formula E officials and studying existing teams’ operational programmes.
Although the pair would not comment on their mission in Marrakesh, Motorsport.com believes that they were carrying out operational and strategic assessment of elements of racing in Formula E.
Motorsport.com understands that they spent the majority of their time in and around the Indian squad Mahindra’s garage.
Current F1 champion Mercedes announced in September that it had signed an option to join Formula E in 2018 when its technical roadmap matures to embrace a one car/one driver format.
Clark has had a colourful F1 career, initially working for Mercedes as a technical advisor before moving to Ferrari in 2012, where he initially took a post managing Ferrari’s engineering team.
This was subsequently changed to a non-F1 project role. After the matter of Clark’s demotion was taken to an employment court, Clark returned to Mercedes.
Like Clark, Martin has experience of working at Mercedes and Ferrari, where he was Head of Strategy from 2011 to 2015. He also held a similar post at Red Bull Racing prior to that after starting his career with a 10-year stint at McLaren.