McLaren says its entry into Formula E is entirely dependent on a cost cap being introduced, similar to that being introduced to Formula 1.
McLaren Racing has signed an option to enter the all-electric championship in 2022 as part of its plans to diversify its motorsports portfolio beyond F1 and IndyCar.
It has been blocked from entering Formula E because of the nature of its relationship with the championship, as the sole supplier of battery technology. However that deal is due to expire at the end of Season 8, meaning the ban will be lifted.
Upon signing that option, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown explained that pushing ahead with the entry would be dependent on a number of factors, and one of those is the introduction of a budget cap which Brown described as “mandatory”.
“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,” he told Autosport.
“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.”
The series is looking to cut costs and discussions about a budget cap are ongoing, though a final figure has yet to be set in stone. Brown though says discussions have been promising.
“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.”
Some manufacturers are expected to resist the push for a budget cap, though the smaller outfits are mostly in favour.