McLaren has confirmed longstanding speculation that it will enter Formula E from next season, through the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ outfit.
Committing to the new Gen3 era, which gets underway next year, McLaren will join the grid alongside Maserati, Mahindra, Jaguar, DS Automobiles, Nissan, Porsche and NIO 333. ABT Sportsline is also set to return to the championship and is strongly linked to a tie up with Mahindra.
- Mercedes-EQ team principal will continue to head team
- Driver line-up, powertrain supplier to be announced later
McLaren to replace Mercedes in Formula E
Reigning champions Mercedes are all set to leave Formula E at the end of the current 2022 season. But the existing team will continue racing under the McLaren Racing banner. An official statement from McLaren says the acquisition is expected to be completed later this year.
Mercedes-EQ team principal Ian James will continue at the helm, enabling a smooth transition. Further details on McLaren’s Formula E driver line-up and powertrain supplier will be announced later.
“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,” said James.
“I'm very much looking forward for this next chapter for the team and will be a proud member of it in Season 9. Until then, we will be focused on delivering the best results possible as the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, for the remainder of the current season.”
Why McLaren is joining Formula E
McLaren is one of the most fabled names in motorsport and currently competes in Formula 1, IndyCar and Extreme E. Explaining why it has decided to join Formula E, McLaren has highlighted the sustainability angle, as well reaching a “new, more diverse global audience”.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown added, “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,” said Brown.
New Formula E Gen3 cars
The new-generation Formula E car will make its racing debut next year and is pegged to be more powerful, faster and efficient than its predecessor, with an even greater focus on sustainability.
It’s the first-ever formula car with front and rear powertrains. With a combined 600kW, it doubles the regenerative capability of the current Gen2 cars. Power will be up to 350kW (476hp), compared to 250kW (340hp) put out by the current cars, and it’s roughly 60kg lighter (with minimum driver weight included). All of this also translates to a higher top speed of 320kph. You can head here to know more about the technology behind the new Gen3 cars.
Season 9 is expected to get underway in January 2023. A new street circuit coming up in Hyderabad will likely host a Formula E race next year, sometime between January-March 2023.