Formula E

McLaren sign option to enter Formula E in Season 9

1 Mins read

McLaren is really on the up as of late. Its Formula 1 team had its best season in recent years in 2020, managing to clinch third place in the constructors’ championship in the final race of the season thanks to brilliant driving from Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Now it seems that McLaren is feeling brave enough to step into new ventures.

The Woking-based constructor has signed an option to enter a works team into Formula E for Season 9, which will run from 2022-2023. This is timed with the end of McLaren Applied’s contract as the exclusive battery supplier to Formula E, as this prevents McLaren from entering its own team.

Along with compounding its Formula 1 successes in 2021, McLaren will be spending the year evaluating whether a full team entry into Formula E is a viable option.

“We’ve been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series’ progress and future direction”, McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown commented.

“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.”

If McLaren does join the grid for Season 9, it’ll be one of a maximum of 12 entries allowed as per Formula E’s regulations. Whether McLaren will use a powertrain developed in-house or one from a technological partner (likely Mercedes, considering Mercedes will be returning as McLaren’s Formula 1 engine supplier from this year) is uncertain.

It’s also uncertain as of yet who would actually drive for a McLaren factory team. Considering the connections both McLaren has both past and present, there could be some very interesting driver options emerge.

Current Mercedes Formula E drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck De Vries both have previous connections with McLaren and with Fernando Alonso‘s contract with Alpine reportedly expiring in 2022, maybe his old boss could reach out to him?

Formula E Season 7 is due to start with a double header in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 26/27 February 2021.

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