Formula E: Mercedes takes option to join electric motor series

Formula E
Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi is the current Formula E world champion, helping his team Renault e.dams win the constructors' championship

Formula 1 champions Mercedes could enter Formula E after taking an option to join the electric motor racing series in 2018-19.

Mercedes may choose to be one of a maximum of 12 entries in the series, which was launched in 2014.

"Electrification will play a major role in the future of the automotive industry," said Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

"This will make Formula E very relevant in the future."

The third Formula E season starts in Hong Kong on 9 October.

Ten teams - including car manufacturers Renault, Audi, BMW and Jaguar - currently take part in the series, with two new entries to be allocated for 2018-19 subject to the approval of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The fifth season is set to be a milestone for the championship with battery development expected to allow drivers to complete races in one car rather than having to switch to a second one mid-race.

Mercedes have won the drivers' and constructors' world titles in F1 in the past two seasons, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on course to help them win both again this year.

Meanwhile, the faulty engine which stopped Hamilton winning Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix has arrived back in England where engineers will aim to find out what went wrong.

The engine caught fire with 15 laps to go, with the Briton leading the race.

"We will leave no stone unturned," Wolff said.

Hamilton is 23 points behind team-mate Rosberg with five races to go and 125 points still available.

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