McLaren to take charge of Mercedes Formula E team
McLaren announced on Saturday that it will take over the Mercedes Formula E team and will participate in the all-electric world championship when it begins a new ‘Gen3’ era in its ninth season next year. Mercedes had won both championships in the city-based series last year but the brand had already announced its departure to focus on Formula One.
According to a Reuters report, McLaren had signed an option in January last year and since then had been assessing whether to add Formula E to a portfolio that includes Formula One, Indy Car, the electric off-road Extreme E championship and esports. McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown said, “Formula E has racing at the centre but will be strategically, commercially and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall." Brown also mentioned that it will be satisfying to provide a home for the class-leading Formula E team that Mercedes has built and merge it to make it a fully-fledged part of the McLaren Racing family.
The deal between McLaren and Mercedes is expected to complete later this year while Mercedes principal Ian James will continue in his role at a team founded in 2019. “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," added Brown. McLaren Racing is part of the McLaren Group, which includes the supercar manufacturer and a major chunk of it is owned by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat.
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Auto companies namely Nissan, Jaguar, Porsche, Mahindra, Stellantis-owned DS and Maserati and China's Nio have signed up for the 2023 season in which a $13 million cost cap will be in place for the 12 teams.