Ahead of this weekend's Formula E Berlin E-Prix double header, McLaren Racing has confirmed that it will compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship from next season, the start of the Gen3 era.
The Woking-based racing company will take over the existing Mercedes EQ outfit that is set to leave the fully-electric series following the current season. The German racing team made its debut at the 2019 Diriyah E-Prix three years ago, joining the avantgarde series for Season 6. Mercedes secured third place in the Constructors’ Championship in its debut year in the 2019/2020 season before becoming team champion in the following year while its Dutch driver Nyck de Vries snatched the drivers’ title at the season-ending Berlin E-Prix.
However, Mercedes EQ decided to quit the championship after the 2021–22 season. It has now been confirmed that McLaren will take over the grid slot that is currently filled by the Mercedes EQ team. By joining the Formula E series, the British racing outfit will extend its portfolio of Formula 1, IndyCar, Extreme E, and esports.
While the team is yet to provide further details regarding its driver line-up, powertrain supplier and commercial partners, it has confirmed that Mercedes EQ’s current team principal Ian James will continue to lead the team, enabling a smooth transition to McLaren following the end of the current season.
“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 Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO. “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.
Accelerating our sustainability journey. We’re ready for the challenge ahead! 👊⚡ pic.twitter.com/HeZgvGBdjh— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 14, 2022
“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.”
Formula E CEO, Jamie Reigle, commented: “McLaren is one of the most iconic names in world sport with a global fanbase and a glittering list of accomplishments across multiple forms of motorsport.
“From next season and the start of the Gen3 era, the only place to see McLaren go head-to-head with historic motorsport names including Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and Nissan is in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
“They will be taking their place on the grid amongst 12 highly-competitive teams and 24 of the sport’s most talented drivers racing in the fastest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. That is a unique and mouth-watering offering for fans, and I am excited that McLaren is joining Formula E to make this dream a reality.”
For Formula E founder and chairman, Alejandro Agag, McLaren’s arrival is the culmination of a long-term objective, and the beginning of an exciting new chapter: “I wanted McLaren to be part of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship since Season 1, and I’m delighted we finally made it happen.
"But it is so much more than just deciding to go racing. Being part of Formula E signals a strategic investment in the future of electric vehicle development. I welcome Zak’s belief that Formula E provides a cutting-edge environment for a proven innovator like McLaren to accelerate their EV experience and performance," Agag concluded.