McLaren Racing announced Saturday the legendary team will enter the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship starting next season.
The move coincides with the debut of the Gen3 car in the electric, single-seater series.
Formed in 1963 by the late Bruce McLaren, the team has captured 12 drivers' championships and eight constructors' championships plus 183 Grand Prix victories in Formula One. McLaren Racing also holds a majority stake in the Arrow McLaren SP team in the IndyCar Series.
"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," McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said in a press release. "Formula E, like all our racing series, fulfills all those criteria.
“As with all forms of the sport we participate in, Formula E has racing at the centre but will be
strategically, commercially and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall.
“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.”
Rather than start from the bottom, McLaren is acquiring the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team, who are the defending constructors' champions, with the deal expected to be completed later this year.
Reigning Formula E drivers' champion Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, who previously raced for McLaren in Formula One, currently drive for the Mercedes-EQ team.
Next year will also see the arrival of Maserati to the series.
“McLaren is one of the most iconic names in world sport with a global fanbase and a glittering list of accomplishments across multiple forms of motorsport," Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle said in a statement. "From next season and the start of the Gen3 era, the only place to see McLaren go head-to-head with historic motorsport names including Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and Nissan is in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
“They will be taking their place on the grid amongst 12 highly-competitive teams and 24 of the sport’s most talented drivers racing in the fastest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. That is a unique and mouth-watering offering for fans, and I am excited that McLaren is joining Formula E to make this dream a reality.”
Formula E is in the midst of its eighth season with the Berlin E-Prix doubleheader at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit this weekend. Edoardo Mortara earned the victory in Race 1 Saturday with Jean-Eric Vergne and Vandoorne rounding out the podium. Race 2 is set for Sunday.