McLaren secures option to join Formula E

McLaren Racing has signed an agreement with Formula E that gives the outfit the option to join the championship for the Gen3 era beginning in 2022.

McLaren secures option to join Formula E

The deal does not guarantee absolutely that McLaren will race in the series, but it does formally assure the eight-time Formula 1 constructors’ champion of an entry on the grid.

This follows the December announcements that both Audi and BMW will exit FE at the end of the forthcoming 2021 season, freeing up two vacancies from the 12-team field.  

The agreement also follows the precedent of Mercedes, which secured an option to join FE in October 2016 ahead of the 2018-19 campaign - although the HWA Racelab concern that contested FE for one season did act as a precursor to the manufacturer’s full-time attack.  

FE CEO Jamie Reigle told Motorsport.com: “It’s a vote of confidence in the championship.

“They’re going to do some work and evaluation on that over the coming months and then make a decision.

“If we can go from the option stage to full confirmation, I think that would be very exciting.

FE co-founder and chairman Alejandro Agag said: “McLaren Racing securing an option to join the Formula E grid from Gen3 is testament to the ongoing impact of our sport.  

“With some of the most famous names in motorsport already competing in Formula E, we are thrilled that McLaren Racing has decided to examine a potential entry to Formula E.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said last month that the team was evaluating an entry into FE for the Gen3 regulations, which will be headlined by a 120kg car weight reduction and a power boost up to 350kW - equivalent to 470bhp.  

In recent years, the Woking-based concern has increased its racing involvement beyond F1, including two Indianapolis 500 entries for Fernando Alonso before partnering Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for a full-time programme that commenced in 2020.  

It is also interested in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA Weather SportsCar Championship’s nascent LMDh category.

Brown 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 and the completion of the McLaren Applied supplier contract with the FIA at the end of Gen2, gives us the necessary time to decide if Formula E is right for McLaren as a future competition platform.”

Read Also:

McLaren Applied has been the sole battery supplier for FE for the four-year Gen2 rules set but will be replaced by Williams Advanced Engineering for Gen3.  

Reigle added: “We are delighted that McLaren Racing, one of the most iconic names in motorsport, has secured an option to join Formula E.  

“McLaren has contributed immensely to Formula E’s success as suppliers of our Gen2 battery systems.  

“We now look forward to working with McLaren Racing to demonstrate the sporting and commercial potential of Formula E and devise ways to elevate the series to a new level, as part of their evaluation.”

shares
comments

Related video

Formula E launches new Esports series, offers real-life test

Previous article

Formula E launches new Esports series, offers real-life test

Next article

What Formula E must do for McLaren to act on its attraction

What Formula E must do for McLaren to act on its attraction
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Author Matt Kew
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Prime

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock.

Formula E
May 11, 2021
Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent Prime

Why Formula E's Valencia fiasco undermines engineering talent

FIA president Jean Todt wanted more Formula E coverage in the media, and got his wish when the opening Valencia E-Prix proved farcical. Despite attempts to spin the race as teams failing to get their sums right, Formula E and its governing body cannot escape blame - especially when trying to get teams to commit long-term.

Formula E
Apr 27, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem Prime

How Valencia E-Prix farce gave Formula E an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair.

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Prime

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons.

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Prime

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021