McLaren say their decisions over whether to press ahead with entries into Formula E and the World Endurance Championship are set to run into next year.
The Woking-based team continue to broaden their horizons beyond F1 and at the end of November they completed the purchase of their controlling 75% stake in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team, while an Extreme E venture will be launched in 2022.
Next step could be to formalise the interest previously declared in Formula E and the WEC.
In January, McLaren signed an option to join the Formula E grid for the 2022-23 season, which is the next-but-one – the 2021-22 campaign is due to begin in Saudi Arabia on January 28.
As for the World Endurance Championship, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown stated earlier this year it was “something we are looking at…but it has to be the right time, right place and right resources”.
Brown had also previously said it was the intention for McLaren to firm up their plans regarding other series before the end of 2021, but that timeframe has now been pushed back.
Today, it’s all about our 2021 season. 👊 Who will come out on top this time? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/sdp3X2eDCD
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 21, 2021
“We still have a couple of weeks left,” said Brown, quoted by GPFans, with a smile just before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I think realistically, it will probably creep into Q1 of next year, which technically we are comfortable with.
“What has been driving the timeline is if we were to enter the technical preparation that would need to be done to be prepared, and we have done enough work on both series to be comfortable with the timeline moving a bit.
“The reason the timeline is moving is we are just not in a position to make a decision yet.
“Also, commercially it needs to make sense for us and we need to be comfortable with where we are at with our IndyCar and Extreme E teams.
“We’ve completed our first days of testing in Extreme E, we are ramping up for a third car at Indy in the IndyCar series in 2023.
“I think it will be early in Q1 [of 2022] before we make any final decisions.”
McLaren’s plans for Formula E are in contrast with those of Mercedes, who won the 2020-21 title with Nyck de Vries but have announced they will pull out after the next campaign.
Ferrari, meanwhile, will enter the World Endurance Championship’s premier Hypercar category in 2023, including the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.