McLaren has confirmed its long-rumored intention to compete in Formula E from the 2022-23 season.
The company previously signed an option to enter Formula E in January 2021, ahead of an evaluation period, and says its decision to join the series “reflects McLaren’s commitment to EV motorsport but the aim to accelerate McLaren Racing’s sustainability journey and reach a new, more diverse global audience.”
“McLaren Racing always seeks to compete against the best and on the leading edge of technology, providing our fans, partners and people with new ways to be excited, entertained and inspired,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “Formula E, like all our racing series, fulfils all those criteria.
“As with all forms of the sport we participate in, Formula E has racing at the centre but will be strategically, commercially and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall. It is also satisfying to provide a home for the class-leading Formula E team that Mercedes has built, which will become a fully-fledged part of the McLaren Racing family. While run separately to our F1 and IndyCar teams, Formula E complements and builds out our EV racing programme alongside Extreme E.
“I firmly believe that Formula E will give McLaren Racing a competitive advantage through greater understanding of EV racing, while providing a point of difference to our fans, partners and people, and continuing to drive us along our sustainability pathway.”
By joining Formula E, McLaren adds another series to its ever-expanding portfolio which also includes IndyCar, Esports, and Extreme E – which was the company’s first all-electric motorsport venture. It entered the off-road category at the start of the current season and finished its first event in Saudi Arabia in fifth place.
In Formula E, McLaren will fill the spot previously held by the outgoing Mercedes team.
Mercedes won the 2020-21 teams’ championship and drivers’ championship with Nyck de Vries, and currently heads both championships again this season, Stoffel Vandoorne topping the drivers’ table.
Although the German manufacturer won’t supply drivetrains to McLaren following its exit at the end of the current season, its team principal Ian James will retain his role.
McLaren will take over Mercedes’ entry, Simon Galloway/Motorsport Images
“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team,” said James. “Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success. Mercedes-Benz have been the main enablers for this team so far and when we started this journey, we could only have hoped for the results we’ve achieved to date.
“The company’s clear objectives and technological expertise accelerated our ambitions, and I would like to thank them for being the most supportive owner by helping us to do what we do best: racing. Now, once again, they have been instrumental in securing the right partner to continue our Formula E journey.
“Becoming part of the McLaren Racing family is a privilege: McLaren has always been synonymous with success and high-performance. This is a great moment for all parties involved but, above all, for the people that make up this team. They are what keeps its heart beating. Being able to continue working with them is what I am most excited about.