DTM champion René Rast will race for the new NEOM McLaren Formula E team in Season 9.
René Rast is the first name to be announced as part of the upcoming McLaren Formula E line-up, the team set to made their debut in the all-electric racing category next season.
Three-time DTM champion, Rast made his debut in Formula E with Team Auguri when he replaced Antonio Felix Da Costa at the 2016 Berlin E-Prix, and was then offered Daniel Abt’s vacated seat halfway through Season 6, to race only in Berlin that year.
The German team confirmed him alongside Lucas Di Grassi as part of their Season 7 line-up, which marked the last year for both Audi and Rast in the category.
“As a racing fan, McLaren has always had huge appeal,” said the German driver. “It’s an iconic name in motorsport with a rich history, so I feel privileged and proud to be able represent McLaren in Formula E next season.
“I’ve done a season in Formula E before, it was a great experience, and I felt after that year I wasn’t done yet. I’m excited that I am now getting the opportunity to continue that journey. I’m extremely motivated and have no doubt we will create something great together. I can’t wait to get started!”
Confirmed to stay as Managing Director to oversee the transition to McLaren Racing, Ian James praised Rast’s racecraft, and is looking forward to start a new chapter of his career with the team.
“René has shown his race craft over and over again in every series he has competed in to date,” said the ex-Mercedes EQ Team Principal. “He is not only extremely fast, but also consistent, and has valuable previous experience in Formula E, which will be of great help both to the team and himself.
“Season 9 promises to be an exciting challenge for the team and I’m happy to have one of our cars in the trusted hands of René.”
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, acknowledged Rast’s records in DTM – two overall wins at the 24 Hours of Spa, one at the Nurburgring and two class wins at Daytona – and expressed excitement at the future prospects for the team in the all-electric series.
“René has impressed over the years in the series he has competed in,” said Brown. “He is a true racer and has proven to be quick in any car he’s driven. His previous experience in Formula E will be invaluable as we head into this exciting new era of racing for McLaren Racing. I’m delighted to welcome René to the McLaren Racing family.”
With Season 9 set to begin in January with the Mexico City E-Prix, McLaren will make their debut on track at testing ahead of the first round.