McLaren will take over Mercedes' Formula E team for the start of Gen3.
McLaren Racing will enter Formula E next season. Rumors circulated that the iconic Formula One team would be expanding into the electric single-seater series along with other new ventures like Extreme E and IndyCar, but the news became official on Saturday morning.
"McLaren Racing always strives to compete with the best and be at the forefront of technology to offer our fans, partners and people new ways to be excited, entertained and inspired," said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing.
“Like all of our racing series, Formula E meets all of these criteria. As with all sports in which we are involved, Formula E has racing at its heart, but it will be a strategic, commercial and technical complement to McLaren Racing Better understanding of EV racing will provide a competitive advantage while providing a differentiator for our fans, partners and employees and propelling us further on our sustainability journey," he said.
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The announcement also clears the question mark over the Mercedes EQ team, which won the championship in Season 7. While Formula E has attracted several original equipment manufacturers to its field over the past eight years, many of them have only stayed for a few seasons . partly due to limited opportunities for technology transfer from the racetrack to electric road vehicles.
That was the stated reason why Stuttgart pulled the plug on Mercedes-EQ and said it wanted to focus its efforts on F1 when it announced plans to leave the team last August. But instead of being closed, the Brackley, England-based operation will be taken over by McLaren Racing alongside the Mercedes-AMG F1 team.
"Today's announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team," said Mercedes EQ Team Principal Ian James, who will continue in his leadership role.
"Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been keys to our success. Being 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 everyone ." the parties involved but most importantly for the people who make up this team, they are what makes his heart beat faster to continue working with them, that excites me the most, I'm really looking forward to this next chapter the team and we will be a proud member of it in Season 9. Until then, we will focus on delivering the best possible results as the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team for the remainder of the current season,” said James.
Engineering development remains limited for next season's Gen3 car, which will be much faster than the machine it replaces. But other series McLaren is involved with, such as IndyCar, also show limited technological development in favor of close and fun racing, so there's hope that McLaren will stick around for a while.
One thing it won't do is build its own propulsion system; like Formula 1 and IndyCar, that will come from an outside supplier, although McLaren hasn't made any public statements about it yet.