McLaren considering Formula E entry under Gen3 rules

McLaren is evaluating a possible team entry to Formula E with the new Gen3 car once its existing battery contract comes to an end.

McLaren considering Formula E entry under Gen3 rules

McLaren Applied Technologies has supplied Formula E with the battery system used on its Gen2 cars since 2018, with its deal set to run until the start of the 2022-23 season.

Earlier this year, the FIA awarded Williams Advanced Engineering with the battery contract for the Gen3 cars, which are targeted to reduce in weight by 120kg and offer an additional 350kW of power.

McLaren has involvement in racing series beyond Formula 1, including IndyCar, and is keeping its options open for the future with a particular focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and Formula E.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown explained on Saturday that entering a team in Formula E will become a possibility when the restrictions on it are lifted from 2022-23.

“We’ve been precluded from competing in Formula E because we were the battery supplier, so within that FIA tender, we’re not allowed to compete as a team,” Brown said.

“With the new generation car coming in 2023, and us no longer being the exclusive battery supplier, that’s a racing series that we find very interesting.

“That’s something that we are starting to look at more closely.”

Read Also:

Formula E has raced with a full grid since the start of the 2019-20 season, featuring 12 teams, but will have two free slots from next year after BMW and Audi recently announced they would exit the series after Season 7.

Asked by Motorsport.com if their exits was a warning sign or an opportunity for McLaren, Brown said it was both. 

“There weren’t any spots available, so it has created an opportunity, so that’s a positive,” Brown said.

“Any time teams or manufacturers leave a series, you have to ask why. Audi has announced they are going with the car in LMDh, so with them being in the same family as Porsche, and Porsche being in [Formula E], maybe their strategy is Porsche do that, and Audi should be somewhere else.

“With the budget cap that’s coming in in Formula E, it started off being very inexpensive, and then it skyrocketed, which is what happens. Now it looks like they’re going to cap that quickly before it further grows.

“Having 10 teams, that’s still a very strong field. I see it more as an opportunity. It’s deep with manufacturer support, so I’m ultimately not concerned.

“But you do have to get to the bottom of why they left.”

After one-off bids to enter the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 and 2019, McLaren moved into IndyCar full-time through 2020, linking up with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form Arrow McLaren SP.

Brown said any possible entry to either WEC or Formula E would be approached in a similar fashion, ensuring it does not impact its F1 programme.

“Those two series have our attention, and we want to get through this season, we want to make sure that anything we do is not a distraction to our Formula 1 efforts,” Brown said.

“We layered In IndyCar, and I think we’ve had a very successful year after a bumpy start in 2019. Those two are something that we’re looking at.

“[It is] the same criteria that we have on IndyCar: do we think we can be competitive? Do we think it’s commercially and fiscally sustainable? Do we think it fits our brand?

“I think both those series tick all those boxes, so it’s all about layering them in from a timing perspective, if we’re going to do either.”

shares
comments

Related video

Dragon confirms Muller for final 2020/21 FE spot
Previous article

Dragon confirms Muller for final 2020/21 FE spot

Next article

Da Costa: “Crazy good” new DS FE car is worth waiting for

Da Costa: “Crazy good” new DS FE car is worth waiting for
Load comments
De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2 Prime

De Vries: Why Formula E title success felt so different to F2

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was wide open until the final race after its most unpredictable season yet. Eventual champion Nyck de Vries explains why this made his title-winning experience such a different experience to conquering F2 in 2019

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong Prime

Formula E's new toys ahead of its second-generation swansong

Formula E welcomes a mix of past, present and future for the 2021-22 season. The old guard facing off against a sprinkling of newcomers, a fresh qualifying format amid a sporting rules shake-up and a range of minor tweaks to the existing all-electric machines are all subplots to the final campaign before the next generation arrives

Formula E
Dec 3, 2021
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

Formula E
Nov 30, 2021
How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021