McLaren is to enter Formula E next season as the replacement for Mercedes EQ, who previously announced their intention to depart at the end of the current season.
The automotive giants have added to their extensive motorsport portfolio which currently sees them racing in Formula One, Indycar, Extreme E and eSports.
This move will be more akin to a rebrand rather than entering a completely new team, with the majority of the current staff expected to remain in their roles. It is a similar move to how McLaren took over the majority of Arrow McLaren SP in Indycar, a move which has proved successful. However, they have outright bought the Mercedes-EQ team so there will be no official affiliation between Mercedes and McLaren in terms of team ownership.
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing said:
“McLaren Racing always seeks to compete against the best and on the leading edge of technology, providing our fans, partners and people with new ways to be excited, entertained and inspired. Formula E, like all our racing series, fulfils all those criteria.
“As with all forms of the sport we participate in, Formula E has racing at the centre but will be strategically, commercially and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall. It is also satisfying to provide a home for the class-leading Formula E team that Mercedes has built, which will become a fully-fledged part of the McLaren Racing family. While run separately to our F1 and IndyCar teams, Formula E complements and builds out our EV racing programme alongside Extreme E.
“I firmly believe that Formula E will give McLaren Racing a competitive advantage through greater understanding of EV racing, while providing a point of difference to our fans, partners and people, and continuing to drive us along our sustainability pathway.”
Ian James, Team Principal of Mercedes-EQ said:
“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team. Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success. Mercedes-Benz have been the main enablers for this team so far and when we started this journey, we could only have hoped for the results we’ve achieved to date. The company’s clear objectives and technological expertise accelerated our ambitions, and I would like to thank them for being the most supportive owner by helping us to do what we do best: racing. Now, once again, they have been instrumental in securing the right partner to continue our Formula E journey.
“Becoming 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 all parties involved but, above all, for the people that make up this team. They are what keeps its heart beating. Being able to continue working with them is what I am most excited about.
“I’m very much looking forward for this next chapter for the team and will be a proud member of it in Season 9. Until then, we will be focused on delivering the best results possible as the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, for the remainder of the current season.”
The current Formula E season is still ongoing with racing taking place this weekend in Berlin.