Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff says it will be "tough" for the German marque to quit DTM at the end of 2018, closing a "major chapter" filled with success.

Mercedes announced on Monday evening that it would be leaving DTM after the 2018 season in order to turn focus to Formula E, which it will enter with a works programme from the autumn of 2019.

The decision comes as a blow to DTM, which only boasts BMW and Audi as rival manufacturers to Mercedes, both fielding six cars apiece.

Wolff spoke warmly of Mercedes' time in DTM, which has yielded a combined 29 championships and 183 race wins.

"Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes," Wolff said.

"I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time.

"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."

Dr. Jens Thiemer, vice-president marketing for Mercedes-Benz cars, added: "Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close. We look back with pride on the commitment of our teams, drivers, partners and the many people behind the scenes, who so often made the series a fascinating platform for our customers and for fans of our brand.

"It is now time to start on a new path."

 

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