Mercedes-Benz announced today at Laguna Seca that it is withdrawing from the FedEx CART Championship as of the end of the 2000 season to focus on the Formula One World Championship. "We have had to re-evaluate our motorsport strategy from 2001...
Mercedes-Benz announced today at Laguna Seca that it is withdrawing from the FedEx CART Championship as of the end of the 2000 season to focus on the Formula One World Championship.
"We have had to re-evaluate our motorsport strategy from 2001 onwards in order to meet higher targets in the Formula One World Championship, where eight manufacturers will be competing beginning in 2002," said Jürgen Hubbert of DaimlerChrysler. "We are also very keen to further develop the DTM Touring Car Series, especially in Germany, the home market of Mercedes-Benz."
Meredes first became involved with the CART championship in 1994 when in entered -- and won in a dominating fashion -- the Indianapolis 500 with Roger Penske and Al Unser Jr.
From 1994 to 2000, Mercedes has won 19 Indycar and/or Champ Car events, including a total of nine wins with Penske Racing. In all, eight teams drove with Mercedes-Benz engines, with four of them (Penske, PacWest, Forsythe and Hall) reachign the victory circle at least once.
This season, the PacWest, Mo Nunn, Bettenhausen and Arciero teams have all been using Mercedes-Benz engines; all will be looking for a different engine supplier for the 2001 season.
"We had a good time in CART, and experienced highlights in winning the 1994 Indy 500 and the 1997 CART Manufacturers' Championship," Hubbert said. "We expresse our gratitude to our teams -- PacWest, Mo Nunn, Bettenhausen and Arciero Project -- and wish them all the best for the future."
In Formula One, DaimlerChrysler has been partnering with Team McLaren since 1997, and the collaboration has resulted in two Drivers' Championships (Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and 1999) and one Constructors' Championship (1998). Hakkinen and McLaren also lead the two Championships entering tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix.