McLaren Racing have announced that the team will enter Formula E from 2022-23 season.
This announcement comes 16 month after McLaren first announced their intentions to evaluate a move into Formula E, in a move which further consolidates their racing programme beyond F1, IndyCar and Extreme E of which they already race in.
McLaren will take over Mercedes-EQ Formula E team entry following the Silver Arrows’ decision to bow out, despite having guided Nyck De Vries to last season’s title and currently sit top of this season’s standings with Stoffel Vandoorne heading the drivers’ standings.
De Vries and Vandoorne are ex McLaren members with the Dutchman having previously been part of their Young Drivers’ Programme, whilst Vandoorne drove for McLaren’s F1 team between 2016-18 after he graduated through their youth programme.
McLaren have confirmed that Ian James will stay on as Team Principal in order to ensure ‘a smooth transition’ from Mercedes to McLaren upon conclusion of the current season.
Further details on McLaren’s Formula E programme will be unveiled in due course, including its driver line-up, powertrain supplier and commercial partners.
McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown described the move into Formula E as one which fits the constructor’s vision of being able “to compete against the best and on the leading edge of technology,” whilst appeasing fans with different ways to get excited.
Explaining further why this move suits McLaren, Brown continued: “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.”
Brown also stated his belief that racing in Formula E will provide McLaren with “a competitive advantage through greater understanding of EV racing”, whilst also helping to drive the team’s sustainability pathway forward.
Jones who will stay on in his Team Principal role beyond the current season meanwhile stated that the switch from Mercedes to McLaren “is a privilege”, given the legacy behind both constructors and ensures that he and the current Mercedes-EQ team retain their current jobs.
Formula E founder and chairman, Alejandro Agag meanwhile has welcomed McLaren’s decision to join the series after trying since the inaugural campaign to secure their entry, although he has iterated that Formula E “is so much more than just deciding to go racing.”
Agag proceeded to iterate that being involved in Formula E is “a cutting-edge environment” for McLaren’s development and “a strategic investment in the future of electric vehicle development.”