McLaren Racing becomes the latest addition to the all-electric ABB Formula E world championship, expanding the team’s presence in the EV motorsport scenario ahead of the series’ new era.
“Becoming part of the McLaren Racing family is a privilege; McLaren has always been synonymous with success and high-performance,” Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team Principal Ian James outlined.
“I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter for the team and will be a proud member of it in Season 9. Until then, we will be focused on delivering the best results possible as the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team for the remainder of the current season.”
Last August, the German manufacturer announced the decision to withdraw from the electric world championship by the end of Season 8 to focus on Formula 1.
Earlier in January, McLaren had taken a pivotal step, securing an option to join the Formula E grid from the third generation. A decision materialized through the reigning champion squad acquisition.
“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,” Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, stated.
“It is also satisfying to provide a home for the class-leading Formula E team that Mercedes has built, which will become a fully-fledged part of the McLaren Racing family. While run separately from our F1 and IndyCar teams, Formula E complements and builds out our EV racing program alongside Extreme E.”
However, the team founded by Bruce McLaren in 1963 is no stranger to the pioneering series. During the Gen1 era and through its McLaren Applied Technologies division, it provided the powertrain and electronics for the electric cars.
Following the introduction of the Gen2 single seater from Season Five, McLaren Applied became the exclusive battery supplier to the series - a contract set to expire by the end of the 2021/22 season as Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) returns to be the sole battery supplier for the world championship.
“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,” Brown added.
The all-electric motorsport competition captivates a global fan base through wheel-to-wheel racing while helping to promote clean mobility and climate change awareness.
THE GEN3 ERA
Sustainability is a crucial word in Formula E, the core of a series whose concept, born in a napkin, evolved in its short history, developing the most efficient formula racing car ever, the Gen3.
Late in April, ahead of the Monaco E-Prix, the first fully-electric racing series pulled off the covers of the revolutionary Gen3, set to make its debut on the world’s most famous city streets from Season 9.
The electric car redesigned concept is faster - capable of reaching a top speed of 322 kph / 200 mph and more efficient, with around 95% power efficiency from an electric motor delivering up to 350kW of power (470BHP), compared to approximately 40% for an internal combustion engine.
Moreover, the batteries consist of sustainably-sourced minerals, while battery cells will be reused and recycled.
Recycling is one essential ingredient in Formula E’s environmentally friendly recipe.
According to the series, linen and recycled carbon fiber will be used in bodywork construction for the first time in a formula car, reducing the carbon footprint of the production of the Gen3 bodywork more than 10%.
Furthermore, all waste carbon fiber will be reused for new applications through the adoption of an innovative process from the aviation industry.
In addition, natural rubber and recycled fibers will make up 26% of new Gen3 tires.
Formula E’s net zero carbon commitment and cutting-edge vehicle technology have become an appealing laboratory for the automotive industry’s leading manufacturers, which have chosen the platform to help develop their electrification programs.
The manufacturers currently confirmed for the Gen3 era of Formula E with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) are Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, Mahindra Racing, NIO 333, Nissan, and DS Automobiles.
Formula E founder and chairman Alejandro Agag asserted: “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. 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.”
E-VEHICLES IN HISTORY
The brilliant minds of Frenchman Gustave Trouve, who invented the first electrically powered tricycle, Nikola Tesla, who developed the first AC induction motor in 1887 and German engineering manufacturer Andreas Flocken, who in 1888 brought to life the first made-in-Germany electric vehicle, envisioned electric mobility as an effective way of transportation, and despite their initiatives did not survive the competition presented by fossil fuel-powered engines, history has literally found its way back to the future to contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
The team from Woking’s portfolio includes the FIA Formula One World Championship, IndyCar, the all-electric off-road racing series Extreme E championship, esports, and Formula E.