McLaren Racing has confirmed it will compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship from next season, the start of the Gen3 era.
McLaren Racing has long committed to competing with the best teams, at the leading edge of technology on the world’s biggest stages. This latest addition to the iconic teams’ racing portfolio is also squarely aimed at accelerating McLaren Racing’s understanding of EV technology as part of their sustainability journey while reaching a new, more diverse global audience. The move also reflects McLaren’s commitment to the third generation of Formula E – which will see the introduction of the series’ fastest, most efficient and sustainable race car yet.
The McLaren Formula E Team will be formed through the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, expected to complete later this year, following agreement between McLaren Racing and Mercedes-Benz that will see the reigning ABB FIA Formula E World Championship team transfer into the McLaren Racing family.
Ian James, Team Principal of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, will continue to lead the team, enabling a smooth transition as the team prepares to feature on the grid under the iconic McLaren name next season.
McLaren is among the greatest names in motorsport. Since the team’s foundation by Bruce McLaren in 1963, and its Formula 1 debut in 1966, it has amassed 20 Formula 1 World Championship titles, more than 180 Grand Prix wins, three Indianapolis 500 victories and won the Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt.
McLaren Racing has always operated at the leading edge of technology and currently competes in IndyCar, Extreme E and of course Formula 1. In Formula 1 it was also the first team to be awarded FIA Three-Star Accreditation for sustainability and is a signatory to the UNFCCC Sport for Climate Action framework established to drive the climate agenda in the sports industry.
“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. 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, believes McLaren’s arrival in Formula E alongside a powerful grid of teams that includes some of the most iconic names from the history of motorsport will be a powerful lever to attract more fans to electric racing. “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.
“I am also happy that the deep skills and capabilities developed by the current Mercedes-EQ team in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will find an exciting new home with McLaren. This will be a formidable team next year,” added Alejandro.
Mercedes-EQ will see its operations taken on by McLaren Racing after the latter came to an agreement with Mercedes-Benz that will see the reigning Drivers’ and Teams’ World Championship-winning team continue as the McLaren Formula E Team. That detail has proven to be a major plus point of the acquisition for Brown, and vindication of years of hard work for current Team Principal Ian James and the Brackley outfit’s staff.
“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,” says Brown.
“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team,” says James, who will continue in his leadership role. “Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success.
“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.
“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.”
McLaren Racing has said it will announce further details on its Formula E programme, including its powertrain provider and driver line-up, in due course.