McLaren Formula E and WEC programmes “remain under review”

McLaren Racing is yet to make a final decision on its option to join Formula E but says that and a potential FIA World Endurance Championship programme “remain under review”.

McLaren Formula E and WEC programmes “remain under review”
Listen to this article

In January, the Woking outfit signed an agreement with Formula E that guarantees it a slot on the grid for the advent of the Gen3 rules in 2022-23 should it decide to enter.

While McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown met with championship bosses at the season-opening event in Saudi Arabia in February, its prospective entry has fallen quiet.

This comes despite McLaren’s announcement that it will join the Extreme E grid in 2022, with Brown citing the popularity of the series as hastening the need to commit.

Asked if this venture into a flagship electric championship would come at the expense of taking up a Formula E option, Brown said: “We’ve not taken any final decisions on that yet.”

McLaren Racing revealed it had joined Extreme E based on a “detailed evaluation of the series” against a set of “strategic, economic and operational” criteria.

This is similar to the process it will undertake to finalise its decision on Formula E and an interest in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's LMDh category.

Expanding on both reviews, Brown said: “Our option goes until the end of the year.

“We want to get this [Extreme E] announcement out there and see what activity it creates with our fans and in the marketplace.

“So WEC and Formula E remain under review, and we anticipate having some direction on both of those later in the year.

“All the different racing series have different attributes, different reasons and rationale as to why they may or may not fit within the McLaren Racing portfolio.

“We've not taken a decision yet on those other series.”

Read Also:

Since McLaren confirmed its option deal for Formula E, with the Gen3 era marking when Williams Advanced Engineering will take over the battery supply from McLaren Applied, it has long been seen that a tie-up with Andretti Autosport would be the most likely.

This follows the American outfit losing its support from BMW, with the manufacturer ready to quit Formula E at the end of the 2021 season ahead of a one-year customer powertrain deal.

Brown has existing ties to Andretti Autosport through his United Autosports squad running in partnership with the team in Extreme E and in Australian Supercars.

But with the soft deadline for manufacturers to register for Gen3 passing on March 31, McLaren Racing would have delayed access to FIA data from suppliers WAE, Hankook and Spark Racing Technology.

That indicates a potential McLaren-Andretti tie-up would be in need of a third partner to provide a powertrain. Following a turbulent 2020, McLaren secured a £150 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain and sold a £185m stake to US consortium MSP Sport Capital.

But Brown insisted that the McLaren Group was in far better financial shape should it decide to initiate any further new motorsport programmes.

He said: "100% our financial situation at McLaren Racing is extremely strong.

“Of course, we have to be very diligent and get a return on investment anywhere we're spending money.

“But yes, we are financially very healthy, which is allowing our competitiveness in Formula 1, has allowed us to look in the IndyCar, that's allowed us to enter into Extreme E.

“The strength of McLaren racing is very good and it's very exciting times here.”

shares
comments

Related video

Formula E pressing on with electric junior championship ladder
Previous article

Formula E pressing on with electric junior championship ladder

Next article

Formula E reveals oval-based Mexico track layout

Formula E reveals oval-based Mexico track layout
Load comments
Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides Prime

Why Maserati's shift to Formula E is a win for both sides

Maserati will make a full-factory return to racing, joining the Formula E grid in 2023 with a view to electrifying its road car portfolio. In that regard it makes sense for Maserati - but it's also a win for the series as it seeks to rebound from losing three of its heavyweight German giants in the space of a few months

Formula E
Jan 11, 2022
The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series Prime

The fundamental questions facing a Formula E junior series

As Formula E prepares to enter its new Gen3 era, many have pondered the prospect of its existing machines continuing in a feeder category. But before such a programme could be embarked on, there are several important questions that must be satisfactorily answered.

Formula E
Jan 4, 2022
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E
Dec 7, 2021
Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021