McLaren: Mercedes chance made Formula E move a 'no-brainer'

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McLaren admits the chance to buy Mercedes' Formula E team made a move to enter the series a "no-brainer".

Last weekend, the Woking-based outfit announced it would join Formula E for the new Gen-3 era in Season 9, starting later this year.

This follows recent expansions into IndyCar and Extreme E, as CEO Zak Brown seeks to take McLaren back to the days when it competed in multiple motorsport categories outside Formula 1.


Their entry is a big coup for the all-electric championship, which has seen several manufacturers pull out in recent years.

And Brown explained why joining Formula E now made sense to McLaren. 

"I think outside the obvious excitement that surrounds Formula E as a racing platform and a marketing platform, from a technical point of view, the opportunity to acquire the world championship team that won the last race we were at in Monaco, that was very appealing to us," he said.

"To acquire a going concern, so for the most part what Ian [James, team principal] needs to do is change shirts next year and he has his team in place.

"It was a combination of the stability we have in Formula 1 while there is still a long way to go on our journey to get back to the front, I think Andreas [Seidl, F1 team boss] has all the resources he needs.

"So to be able to acquire a world championship team in a turnkey fashion really made it a no brainer."

Formula E recently unveiled its striking new Gen-3 car which features revolutionary changes such as front and rear powertrains to almost double performance output plus ultrahigh-speed charging capability.

Formula E Gen 33

And it is this that Brown also highlighted as a key reason for choosing Formula E.

“McLaren Racing always seeks to compete against the best and on the leading edge of technology, providing our fans, partners and people with new ways to be excited, entertained and inspired,” said the American.

“Formula E, like all our racing series, fulfils all those criteria.

“While run separately to our F1 and IndyCar teams, Formula E complements and builds out our EV racing programme alongside Extreme E.

“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.”