Nissan will power a new Formula E team set to form out of the Mercedes EQ operation for next season and, as The Race revealed last month, could potentially include the McLaren name.
The Race has learned that the agreement with Nissan to supply the new team has recently been completed and plans are currently underway for an entry to be officially confirmed for the 2022-23 FIA ABB Formula E World Championship season.
Nissan hasn’t supplied power units to privateer teams before, but sister brand Renault did between 2016 and 2018 with Techeetah, which last won the Gen1 season in 2017-18 with Renault power.
A source familiar with the deal said plans include an agreement with Nissan for the Gen3 ruleset, which will run until summer 2026.
A second brand from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance group is unlikely to be introduced to Formula E in the same way as the Stellantis Maserati brand will join DS in the championship next season.
The alliance, through Renault CEO Luca de Meo, considered the possibility of running two brands in 2017, but was put off by regulations that did not allow the alternative branding of existing powertrains to be used. ‘era.
That was changed last month when manufacturers agreed to accommodate Stellantis’ desire to license Maserati for 2023.
Nissan global Tommaso Volpe told The Race last month that supply for Gen3 customers was being prepared. The Race understands that Nissan e.dams Technical Director Vincent Gaillardot is managing the project in which Nissan will supply the new-look team.
“We are handling the whole situation in a way that we can deliver,” Volpe admitted to Diriyah.
Moves for the future Brackley-based Mercedes EQ operation to be effectively taken over by McLaren are underway and could be finalized and confirmed next month.
Current champion team Mercedes EQ is currently in talks with Zak Brown and senior Formula E executives regarding the possibility of the team racing as a McLaren entity from the 2022-23 season.
Plans for a deal have reportedly advanced rapidly over the past month, but have yet to be formalized as the trade side is complex and left with “several hurdles to negotiate”, according to a source.
These could implicate Saudi Arabia’s interest in the deal. Mercedes EQ benefits from a long-standing partnership with the NEOM future city initiative. Additionally, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has a stake in McLaren and is also spearheading funding for the first phase of the NEOM plans.
If plans, which continue to be drawn up, are completed, the team will likely retain the vast majority of staff from the existing Mercedes EQ operation, but could move to Woking and be based at McLaren headquarters.
Current team principal Ian James is also expected to remain in operation, having been employed by Mercedes and Daimler for the past decade.
Several new employees joined the Mercedes EQ team last September, including several former HWA employees who moved from Germany to the UK.
Details of any newly structured teams theoretically do not have to be submitted to the FIA for 2022-23 registration until early September, according to the application regulations. However, the team’s future will likely be public knowledge long before then.
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