McLaren announce signing of German driver for 2023

René Rast has entered 22 Formula E races in his career with a combination of Aguri and Audi.

McLaren have added yet another driver to their talent roster by signing German driver René Rast ahead of their season nine entry.

The Woking-based side are set to take over from Mercedes EQ, who have won both of the last two teams’ titles, with Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne taking the last two drivers’ titles between them.

De Vries is expected to exit the electric series following his frustrating season eight campaign, while the reigning champion will join Penske alongside double world champion and former DS Techeetah driver, Jean Eric Vergne.

McLaren have been busy in the last few months organising a huge pool of drivers, acquiring signings such as Alex Palou to their IndyCar project and, reportedly, Oscar Piastri to the Formula 1 team.

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Rast, who recently signed with BMW in their DTM programme, made his Formula E debut in season two when he contested the Berlin E-Prix for Aguri.

The German returned in season six with Audi after the dismissal of Daniel Abt, scoring his first points at the Tempelhof circuit, which was used for six races at the end of the COVID-affected campaign.

The now 35-year-old achieved his maiden podium in the fifth of those races, before finishing second in Mexico in 2021.

Rast sat out last season as Vandoorne, Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara battled it out for championship success, but he has made his return with the British motoring giant.

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“I am delighted to join the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. As a racing fan, McLaren has always had huge appeal,” he said in the team’s press release announcing his arrival.

“It’s an iconic name in motorsport with a rich history, so I feel privileged and proud to be able represent McLaren in Formula E next season. I’ve done a season in Formula E before, it was a great experience, and I felt after that year I wasn’t done yet. 

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“I’m excited that I am now getting the opportunity to continue that journey. I’m extremely motivated and have no doubt we will create something great together. I can’t wait to get started!”

CEO Zak Brown who, structurally, has tried to keep some familiarity within the team by keeping Mercedes managing director Ian James, is delighted with his new capture.

“While we approach the start of a new chapter for the team, I am delighted to be able to add René to our driver line up for next season,” added the American.

“René has shown his race craft over and over again in every series he has competed in to date. He is not only extremely fast, but also consistent, and has valuable previous experience in Formula E, which will be of great help both to the team and himself. 

“Season 9 promises to be an exciting challenge for the team and I’m happy to have one of our cars in the trusted hands of René.”

One seat remains in McLaren’s Formula E line-up for the 2022/23 season and, with Palou racing with the IndyCar team next term, it remains possible that Felix Rosenqvist will sign alongside Rast.