McLaren to Formula E
McLaren has announced that it will officially compete in Formula E from the introduction of the Gen3 cars in the new season. The team already had an option for a spot in FE and has now turned it into an official entry. It is taking over the spot and team of Mercedes' current Formula E team.
The Mercedes team has been successful in the past two seasons. Nyck de Vries won the world title in the team's second year in the sport (2020-2021) and as a team also grabbed the constructors' title. This season, teammate Stoffel Vandoorne is at the top of the championship and Mercedes is also at the top of the constructors' table again.
Yet McLaren does not seem to be holding onto everything. For example, Vandoorne has already announced his departure. The Belgian will drive for DS Penske next season alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. About the future of Nyck de Vries nothing is clear yet, but the Dutchman is still chasing a spot in F1 and with the shaky position of Nicholas Latifi at Williams he seems to have a real chance.
Rast is a winner
So for McLaren, it's a case of looking ahead in the meantime. According to Motorsport.com Rast's manager, Dennis Rostek, had a conversation with McLaren as a guest during the FE race in Berlin. Here they would have negotiated a contract for the first season of McLaren in the electric class.
Although Rast is no longer the youngest at 35, he does have an impressive resume to show for it. For example, he won the Porsche Supercup in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was also dominant in the DTM between 2017 and 2020 with three titles and one second place in the championship on behalf of Audi. There's still a threshold in the negotiations there, though.
Indeed, Rast still has a deal with Audi through 2023, but that was mainly focused on Audi's Le Mans project. However, that has been put on hold and even postponed with the arrival of the F1 project. This effectively leaves Audi without a project for Rast, who is currently still racing in the DTM on behalf of Audi.
Rast would be an experienced option for McLaren to lead the team. The German already drove a season and a half in Formula E on behalf of the team from ABT with a powertrain from Audi and finished on the podium once. ABT will also return to the FE in 2022-2023, but without Audi in the sport, the link with Rast is no longer there.