McLaren has secured an option to enter Formula E at the start of the next generation of the series, starting with the 2022/23 season.
The Gen 2 regulations end at the end of the 2021/22 season, and up until that point McLaren Applied Technologies is the exclusive battery provider to Formula E. That means it is not allowed to compete as a team up to that date, but the new generation of car will open the opportunity for a McLaren entry, so the team has signed an option that gives it the choice to enter as one of a maximum 12 teams from season nine onwards.
“We’ve been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series’ progress and future direction,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “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.”
McLaren will spend 2021 evaluating whether it wants to proceed with an entry, having seen the likes of Audi and BMW recently announce they will withdraw from the series.
Part of the evaluation process will include whether McLaren wants to enter as its own team or partner with an existing entrant, as well as whether it would make sense to redeploy staff from its Formula 1 team that it would otherwise lose under the new budget cap regulations in F1.