Mercedes-Benz won’t be racing in Formula E next season, but its team will be: McLaren is acquiring Mercedes’ squad and will join the series for its ninth season.
The transaction replaces one major racing name with another, after Mercedes stung the all-electric racing series last August with its announcement that it will not compete in the series after this year.
- Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle hailed the news, saying that the series will be “the only place to see McLaren go head-to-head with historic motorsport names including Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, and Nissan.”
- McLaren CEO Zak Brown added that “Formula E has racing at the center but will be strategically, commercially, and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall.”
- McLaren also competes in Formula 1, IndyCar, and Extreme E.
The ninth season will be the first for Formula E’s Gen3 vehicle, which was unveiled last month.
Racing as Marketing
The team will continue to be led by Ian James, who is transitioning to McLaren after around 20 years at Mercedes.
Prior to the announcement, James noted to Front Office Sports that the pandemic and Mercedes’ push to go all-electric in its consumer models by 2030 forced tough decisions.
“Motorsport is a testbed for new technologies that can then filter through into the road cars, but it’s also a marketing platform,” said James.