Zak Brown says there is uncertainty about whether or not McLaren will join the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship as planned in 2022, particularly after both Audi and BMW announced they would be withdrawing at the end of the current campaign.
McLaren secured an option to join Formula E for its ninth season in 2022-23, but Brown, the CEO of the Woking-based team that has teams in Formula 1 and the NTT IndyCar Series and a future commitment to Extreme E, says there are plenty of doubts about their participation now two of the big manufacturers have pulled out.
Brown says no decision has yet been made, but with the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team not yet committing themselves to the championship beyond the current season, they are looking into whether joining Formula E is financially viable for McLaren.
“On Formula E, we are looking to see how it continues to develop,” Brown is quoted as saying by GPFans.com. “Obviously, with Audi and BMW leaving it’s a bit of a concern.
“We’re not quite sure what Mercedes is going to do and when we make a decision, is it commercially viable? We’re still looking at that.
“Is it operationally distracting? Formula E teams are becoming quite big now. They’re talking about putting a cost cap. That is not yet done but a Formula E team is 60-70 people and currently doesn’t have a cost cap. So we don’t yet know if it is going to be economically viable without a cost cap. I don’t think it is.
“With all that we have got going on with IndyCar, with Extreme E, is it something that we feel the timing is right? So we like what Formula E stands for, we like the racing. We have been participating as the supplier, so those are the things that are in our consideration set.
“It was always our intention to make a decision by the end of the year for season nine which we are still on course to make a decision.”