McLaren have confirmed that they will take over from the Mercedes EQ team when the German motoring giants leave the series at the end of the current season.
The move means McLaren will have interests in Formula 1, F1 Esports, IndyCar, Extreme E and Formula E, with three of them being all-electric series.
Mercedes joined Formula E as a newcomer in 2019 and, between Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, have taken six race victories, claiming the Teams’ Championship last summer while the Dutchman earned the drivers’ crown.
Vandoorne leads the way this year with two podiums and a race win in Monaco in the last round, but it is as yet unknown whether they will stick around after the transition, given that they were both part of the McLaren F1 set-up previously.
Either way, CEO Zak Brown is delighted to have secured his company’s future in its latest on-track adventure, joining big motoring names such as Jaguar, Porsche and Audi.
“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,” he stated.
Mercedes EQ team principal Ian James worked as a McLaren manufacturing engineer from 2001 to 2005, before joining Mercedes’ powertrains division in 2015.
He took up his current role in 2019, and his vast experience in motorsport – as well as his pre-acquaintance with McLaren – means that he will be staying on going into next year.
He is grateful for the journey he has been through with Mercedes, but is excited for his new chapter with McLaren.
“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team,” he explained.
“Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success. I would like to thank [Mercedes-Benz] 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 nine.
“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 Formula E circus has travelled to Germany for this weekend’s Berlin E-Prix, ahead of which Vandoorne and de Vries have qualified eighth and 12th respectively.