McLaren will only enter Formula E under a ‘cost cap’

Jamie Woodhouse
Formula E

McLaren will only enter Formula E with a cost cap in place.

If McLaren are to join the Formula E series, then the introduction of a cost a cap to the electric series is “mandatory”.

McLaren have signed an agreement which gives them the option to join Formula E from the 2022/23 season, with McLaren looking to diversify their motorsport portfolio.

But, if they are to take Formula E up on the entry, then the introduction of a cost cap, similar to the one which has arrived in Formula 1 for the 2021 season, is “mandatory”.

Speaking to Autosport, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said: “The cost cap is mandatory for us, because as a racing team/manufacturer, we don’t have the depth of resources of a BMW or Mercedes or a Porsche, where if we budget X, and because people keep raising the bar, the price becomes Y.

“What I don’t have is the ability to just go back and say ‘ah, I need another £15million’.

“We need to have total confidence that we can afford to race for the championship, and that those goalposts aren’t going to move on us.

“I’m very pleased with what I’m hearing, and the numbers that I’m hearing, but that will be something before we make a final decision that needs to be a done deal.

“What I can’t do is enter into a championship, any championship, that potentially has a moving target as a budget.”

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Audi and BMW have announced that they will leave the series at the end of 2021, the final scheduled season with the current Gen2 car, and this means that McLaren now have a clear path into the series without the potential need to buy out another outfit.

“[FE] was something that has always been on the solar system page, if you like,” Brown continued.

“But then with the announcement of Audi and BMW leaving, because they were sold out of franchises, the only way to enter would have been to acquire an existing team.

“They’re trading for not an insignificant amount of money, which would probably be a barrier to entry for us.

“When the opportunity presented itself to acquire an option, that’s why we moved.

“We’ve been circling. Alejandro [Agag, FE co-founder] knew we’d been looking.

“When that happened, we were a quick call for him to say, ‘you’ve been telling me you have an interest in Formula E, this has just happened which presents an opportunity’.

“We jumped on it to reserve our spot to then give us this year to hopefully get through COVID, have another solid year of Formula 1, because while we’re on a good journey, nobody is comfortable yet.”

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