McLaren commits to Extreme E, but what does this mean for their proposed Formula E entry?

McLaren have today (June 11th) confirmed that they will enter Extreme E next season, becoming the third manufacturer to do so, joining Cupra and GMC.

The decision comes after a “detailed evaluation of the series” carried by McLaren themselves.

Extreme E has allowed manufacturers and sponsors alike to reach new fans and partners, something which McLaren themselves are keen on, as well as improving their own “sustainability and diversity agenda.”

CEO of McLaren Racing, Zak Brown said: “From the moment Extreme E was announced we have been following the progress of the series closely.

“Our attention was immediately drawn by the innovative format of this motorsport platform, in particular the ability it gives us to accelerate and boost our own overarching sustainability agenda, which shares the same priorities of decarbonisation, waste reduction, diversity and equality.”

Brown also restated that McLaren remains fully committed to Formula 1, IndyCar and Esports.

“While Formula 1 will always remain at the centre of our world, like IndyCar and Esports, our entry into Extreme E is additive to the McLaren Racing franchise and will compliment and help support all our programmes.

“We will be competing against big names we’re very familiar with from F1 and IndyCar [JBXE, Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team, Nico Rosberg’s Rosberg X Racing, Chip Ganaasi Racing] but, like all series we compete in, the competition objective is clear: we are there to win.”

However, Brown didn’t confirm as to whether or not joining Extreme E would mean that McLaren won’t join the World Endurance Championship in the Hypercar category, or indeed Formula E.

In January of this year, McLaren signed an agreement with Formula E that gave the outfit an option to join the series for the Gen3 era.

At the time, Brown said: “We’ve been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series’ progress and future direction.

“The opportunity to take an option on an entry and the completion of the McLaren Applied supplier contract with the FIA at the end of Gen2, gives us the necessary time to decide if Formula E is right for McLaren as a future competition platform.”

However, with this announcement, it seems unlikely that McLaren will take up the option to join the Formula E grid from 2022 with Brown explaining that he expected Extreme E slots to be “sold out quickly” and that McLaren Racing “didn’t have the luxury of waiting another six months” to join.

 

 

 

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