McLaren signs option to join Formula E from 2022-23 season

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McLaren Racing have signed an option to compete in the electric Formula E championship from 2022-23, the Formula One team announced on Monday.

The British-based team will spend 2021 assessing the feasibility of joining the series for season nine, when a lighter and more powerful Gen3 car makes its debut with faster charging.

BMW, whose team are run by U.S.-based Andretti Motorsport, and Audi have both announced they are leaving the series at the end of this year.

Formula E, a recognised FIA-backed world championship, allows a maximum 12 entries.

McLaren Applied Technologies is the exclusive battery supplier of the series until 2022, with McLaren precluded from competing until that contract expires.

"We've been closely observing Formula E for some time and monitoring the series' progress and future direction," McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said in a statement.

"The opportunity to take an option on an entry, together with the completion of the McLaren Applied supplier contract... gives us the necessary time to decide if Formula E is right for McLaren as a future competition platform."

Formula One is introducing a budget cap this year and some teams are looking at shedding staff by redeploying them to other areas.

Series founder Alejandro Agag said in a statement: "McLaren Racing securing an option to join the Formula E grid from Gen3 is testament to the ongoing impact of our sport."

The seventh Formula E season is due to start in Saudi Arabia with night races on Feb. 26 and 27.