McLaren will race off the beaten tracks next year, with the papaya squad entering the second season of the Extreme E all-electric series.
The Woking-based outfit’s commitment to Extreme E is a major coup for the adventurous climate-aware off-road racing series that takes its competitors to remote parts of the world.
McLaren’s presence as the tenth team to join Extreme E is “probably the biggest news in the short history of Extreme E,” said series co-founder Alejandro Agag.
“Extreme E’s mission is to use sport to build awareness and accelerate clean technology innovations that benefit the mobility industry and beyond,” added Agag.
“To have McLaren on board, which symbolises the highest level of racing and automotive innovation, is a huge endorsement that what we have delivered in just our first two races of Season 1 has already created real impact in motorsport.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Zak and the powerhouse McLaren Racing team to Extreme E, and it’s safe to say, we can’t wait to see how the team performs in its first off-road, electric racing debut. Season 2 just got very exciting!”
McLaren racing boss Zak Brown told the media that the manufacturer “didn’t have the luxury of waiting another six months” to join Extreme E given the series’ growing momentum and the prospect of it being “sold out quickly” according to Brown.
“From the moment Extreme E was announced we have been following the progress of the series closely,” added the American who already has a personal stake in Exterme E through as a partner in Andretti Autosport.
“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.
“At the same time, it will enable us to reach a new audience with an innovative race format, connect with a new generation of fans through content served across a variety of channels and provide partners with a purpose-led competition platform to align with and share in a positive, powerful narrative.
“From the outset, McLaren has always been at the forefront and never afraid to push new boundaries.
“This new venture is true to our roots of participating in a variety of categories, innovation and bravery.
“Extreme E is paving new ground in motorsport as a force for good in confronting some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and in the future.
“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 complement and help support all our programmes.
“We will be competing against big names we’re very familiar with from F1 and INDYCAR but, like all series we compete in, the competition objective is clear: we are there to win.”