McLaren to enter Formula E through Mercedes team purchase
Motor racing - 16 May 2022
McLaren Racing, the motor racing arm of the British car manufacturer, will compete in the Formula E all-electric series from the start of the 2022-23 season through the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Team.
McLaren announced over the weekend (May 14) that it expects its purchase of the Mercedes team, who are the reigning champions, to be completed later this year ahead of the new season.
The team had already signed an agreement with Formula E in January that gave it the option of joining the championship from next season.
Dates for the 2022-23 campaign have yet to be confirmed, but the ongoing 2021-22 season began on January 28 and concludes on August 14.
The new season will be the ninth for Formula E and the first of the new Gen3 era, which will see faster, more powerful cars introduced.
Ian James, the team principal of Mercedes-EQ Formula E, will continue to lead the team after it has changed hands to ensure a smooth transition.
More details about the McLaren Formula E Team, including its driver line-up, powertrain supplier, and commercial partners, will be announced in due course, McLaren has said.
Formula E will sit alongside the prestigious Formula 1 series, the US-based IndyCar series, and the Extreme E electric SUV series that McLaren entered this year, in the team’s racing portfolio.
Last month (April), it was confirmed that Nissan had acquired the e.dams Formula E team, having been a partner and shareholder in it since 2018, while Maserati will join the grid from 2023.
Zak Brown, chief executive of McLaren Racing, said: “As with all forms of the sport we participate in, Formula E has racing at the center 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 program 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.”
James added: “Today's announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team. Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success. Mercedes-Benz has been the main enabler 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.”