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McLaren Joins Formula E; Porsche Expands Series Footprint with Andretti


The McLaren Racing empire is headed to Formula E.

McLaren Racing announced early Saturday that will compete in Gen3 era of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, which is set to begin in 2023. McLaren plans to use the Formula E platform both as a proving ground for its growing understanding of EV technology and as an opportunity to reach a larger world-wide audience.

The Formula E series unveiled its Gen3 cars last month in Monaco. The car promises to be its most efficient and sustainable race car to date, and also the fastest with top speeds expected to hit 200 mph.

McLaren team will be a product of its acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team following an agreement between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-EQ is the series defending team champion in the series.

McLaren will join seven other manufactures in the 12-team, all-electric open-wheel series for the Gen3 era, including DS Automobiles (France), Jaguar (U.K.), Mahindra Racing (India), Maserati (Italy), NIO 333 (U.K. and China), Nissan (Japan) and Porsche AG (Germany).

Ian James, team principal of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, will continue to lead the soon-to-be McLaren team.

“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 Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO. “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 center 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.”

McLaren Racing currently competes in IndyCar, Extreme E and Formula 1.

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle hopes the McLaren name will bring even more attention to the series, currently racing in it’s eighth season.

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Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle

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“McLaren is one of the most iconic names in world sport with a global fan base and a glittering list of accomplishments across multiple forms of motorsport,” Reigle said. “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.”

Series founder Alejandro Agag said that McLaren has long been a target of the series.

“I wanted McLaren to be part of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship since Season 1, and I’m delighted we finally made it happen,” Agag said. “But it is so much more than just deciding to go racing. Being part of Formula E signals a strategic investment in the future of electric vehicle development. I welcome Zak’s belief that Formula E provides a cutting-edge environment for a proven innovator like McLaren to accelerate their EV experience and performance.”

“I am also happy that the deep skills and capabilities developed by the current Mercedes-EQ team in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will find an exciting new home with McLaren. This will be a formidable team next year,” added Alejandro.

McLaren Racing did not announce its powertrain provider and driver lineup as part of Saturday’s announcement.

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Michael Andretti’s Formula E team will move from BMW to Porsche next season.

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Porsche Expanding Formula E Footprint with Andretti

On Friday, Porsche announced that it would be expanding its Formula E presence for the Gen3 era beginning with the 2023 campaign by supporting Avalanche Andretti. Avalanche Andretti was founded by American racer Michael Andretti.

The deal will mean four Porsche 99X Electric racers on the grid for Season 9 of the series. Two of the cars will be fielded by the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team and two by Avalanche Andretti.

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Michael Andretti

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“It’s important for us to support a customer team that demonstrates the same passion and professionalism in Formula E as we do,” says Thomas Laudenbach, vice president Porsche Motorsport. “Avalanche Andretti has raced in Formula E since the inaugural 2014 season. For us, it’s a huge vote of confidence that one of the most experienced teams has chosen to work alongside Porsche from season 9 onward and wants to field two Porsche 99X Electric racers. Porsche and Andretti are united by a long tradition, and it all started when Mario and Michael made their Le Mans debuts in a Porsche 956 in 1983. We’re delighted that the tradition is continuing in Formula E and we hope our partnership will be just as successful.”

Michael Andretti, CEO and chairman, Andretti Autosport, confirmed the move from BMW to Porsche for his customer team.

“Our Formula E journey began with Season 1 and we’re very proud to now be looking ahead to the next generation of the sport,” Andretti said. “Avalanche Andretti FE has an ambition to win, and with the support of Porsche, we have full confidence in our performance and growth. The agreement is an important step in our future and commitment to our sport, partners, and fans.

“Our history with Porsche as two historic racing teams means this collaboration was a natural fit, and we look forward to a new chapter starting in 2023.”

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