Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has praised Formula E for being “absolutely valid” and described the all-electric series as “Super Mario Kart with real drivers”. 

In November last year, Wolff took time away from his hectic F1 schedule to attend the 2019-20 Formula E season opener in Saudi Arabia, a race which marked Mercedes’ debut in the championship after the German squad took over the HWA Racelab entry for season six. 

“I really enjoyed the experience, I must say,” Wolff said about his first experience of Formula E.  

“I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia before and launching our Mercedes Formula E journey was very special. 

“The crowds were phenomenal, seeing how this country is opening up – something I didn’t expect in that way. And the racing is very different to Formula 1, clearly you can say that. 

“For me, it’s Super Mario Kart with real drivers, but it’s absolutely valid to give that a chance.”

Mercedes has enjoyed a strong start to its first season as a fully-fledged manufacturer entry and currently sits second in the teams’ championship and just four points behind BMW following the opening three races. 

Ex-McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne leads the drivers’ standings by three points after claiming two podium finishes in Riyadh, while teammate and reigning Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries is 11th. 

“Nyck has already contributed a great deal to the team’s performance,” Wolff explained. “He’s very mature and the way he’s – as a personality and as a racing driver – been able to slot into the team with Stoffel is really nice to see. 

“We have set our ambitions or our expectations on a realistic target, which we have overachieved and both of the drivers contributed to this happening.”