McLaren to join Extreme E in 2022

Move will mark the first time the team has competed in a major off-road racing series

McLaren XE Zak Brown Alejandro Agag1

McLaren Racing has announced that it will enter Extreme E for the series’ second season in 2022.

In a massive departure for the brand, McLaren’s Extreme E venture will mark the first time it has had an official presence in any major off-road racing series, having competed exclusively in open-wheel and sportscar racing since its founding.

The move comes as the firm continues with a ‘sustainability agenda’ with it aiming to slash its carbon footprint and eliminate waste, as well as increase recycling, diversity, and equality across the company.

“From the moment Extreme E was announced we have been following the progress of the series closely,” said Mclaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “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.

McLaren has often been at the forefront of new technological pushes, with the first carbon fiber chassis, brake-steer, and the F-duct among the innovations it’s pioneered in Formula 1 over the years. Brown feels that Extreme E gives McLaren the perfect opportunity to continue that trend.

This new venture is true to our roots of participating in a variety of categories, innovation and bravery Zak Brown

“From the outset, McLaren has always been at the forefront and never afraid to push new boundaries,” he said. “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.”

Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag added: “Extreme E’s mission is to use sport to build awareness and accelerate clean technology innovations that benefit the mobility industry and beyond.

“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,” he continued.

“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 Two just got very exciting!”

McLaren’s Extreme E venture will run alongside its existing F1, IndyCar, and prominent Esports efforts, with an aim to have it complement those existing programs.

“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 programs,” said Brown. “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.”

Photography:Extreme E

Words:Dominik Wilde