McLaren Racing has announced that it has signed an option to enter Formula E for the discipline’s ninth season in 2022/2023. This gives McLaren the option to be one of the 12 allowed entries for the season.
McLaren’s prior involvement in Formula E was as the sport’s exclusive battery supplier. That contract is, however, elapsing at the end of the 2021/2022 season, leaving the marque free to enter as a competitor the year after if it so chooses. 2021 will be the deciding year for McLaren, on whether it goes ahead with entry into the series.
“We’ve been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series’ progress and future direction,” said Zak Brown, CEO at McLaren Racing.
“The opportunity to take an option on an entry, together with the completion of the McLaren Applied supplier contract with the FIA 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.”
The marque has confirmed that it is factoring in the withdrawal of other brands like BMW and Audi in its decision-making process but only alongside other factors, such as the incoming budget cap and the new third-generation car in addition to commercial and marketing considerations. Also under consideration will be what drivers the marque will employ, whether it will partner with an existing team and how the workload will be spread from F1 to FE should it partake.
This is the latest development in what is looking to be quite the shakeup in areas of motorsport that McLaren frequents. As F1 moves to new regulations, so too does the WEC, with the cheaper new hypercar top-tier class of the latter proving an enticing proposition, as budget cuts in the former open up options to make new leaps. We could well see McLaren leading WEC and FE grids in addition to F1 in the not-too-distant future.