McLaren acquires option to enter Formula E in 2022

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McLaren has moved a step closer to entering Formula E by announcing it has obtained an option to join the series in 2022.

The team is weighing up whether to take advantage of its first opportunity to enter Formula E once its term as the exclusive supplier of batteries for the championship ends. Under the arrangement, which will cease after the 2021-22 season, McLaren are precluded from entering as Formula E a competitor.

An entry in the 2022-23 season, Formula E’s ninth championship, would be a timely opportunity as it coincides with the introduction of its new third-generation cars, known as Gen 3.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who first indicated the team’s interest in the series last month, said: “We’ve been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series’ progress and future direction.

“The opportunity to take an option on an entry, together with the completion of the McLaren Applied supplier contract at the end of Gen 2, gives us the necessary time to decide if Formula E is right for McLaren as a future competition platform.”

Last month two car manufacturers announced their intention to withdraw from Formula E. Audi and BMW have both confirmed they will leave the championship at the end of the 2021-22 season. McLaren, which has not ruled out the possibility of aligning itself with one of the remaining teams, said it will study closely the reasons behind the departures as well as forthcoming changes in Formula E, including the introduction of the Gen 3 car and a cap on team budgets.

The championship remains popular with other manufacturers. Porsche, Nissan and McLaren’s Formula 1 rivals Mercedes are all competitors. The new season, the first to be run as an officially-sanctioned world championship, is due to begin in Saudi Arabia next month.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 13 comments on “McLaren acquires option to enter Formula E in 2022”

    1. Indycar, Formula E… At which point will McLaren stop competing in F1?

      1. Why would they need to stop F1?

        1. As @pastaman rightly asks. Why would they do that?

          Just consider their postion. They are the current supplier of the batteries. They supply electronics to many series with their applied tech division. And they build supercars.

          Why would they not at least consider building on their experience? Why would they not look at the potential synergies between F1, FE and Indycar. Why would they not consider this as a path for engineers they might not need in future seasons as the budget cap gets further lowered. And as a sportscar producer, why would they not at least have a serious look at the branding potential.

      2. Never. Just like Ferrari. They use it to sell roadcars.

        McLaren understands you can tap certain markets with low investment, like IndyCar. Formula E is probably not going to happen. They don’t produce electric cars and series is not very successful.

        1. In 10 years the going to have to sell electric cars.. or they could give up selling cars altogether I guess?

    2. It’s important to their legacy to be seen winning races. The orange CAN-AM cars are historic successes in the Mclaren archives. These partnership Indy Cars or potential Formula E cars could well be looked back in the same way, if they become winners. It’s a pretty cheap way to add to the history books.

    3. If they can make it work financially then why not? Pretty cool seeing f1 teams interested in other series now that they have budget to burn with the cost cap.

    4. If both Indy Car and Formula E are “spec” series, the main technical component of the cars that McLaren would apply, is the paint. Not sure how much in house technical expertise or fabrication can be utilized in either series, but likely it would be, not much. Possibly the new Formula E regs will permit more freedom in power storage, transfer and battery systems, but somehow I doubt it. Every time I look up Formula E technical info it is all about someone being protested for circumventing rules or pushing the envelope too much. Next step … success balast.
      Team management, coordination and technical support will be what McLaren can provide, but neither series would be as big an operation as F1.
      Will be fun to watch and follow though.

      1. Coventry Climax
        11th January 2021, 18:25

        Only thing I disagree with is your last sentence.

      2. There’s huge gains to be made with suspension setup knowledge. Bringing that from F1 will be worth tenths of a second alone.

      3. If you think spec racing is just slapping some paint on a common chassis, then you don’t really understand spec racing

    5. one positive thing is that McLaren will have 2 potential race-fit drivers should they need any for F1, or use FE as a junior squad.

    6. I think McLaren realise they are very unlikely to win races again in F1 (outside of fluke wins like in Monza and Sakhir this year), so are going to branch out into other series where it is easier to succeed.

    Comments are closed.