Can McLaren make a success of its foray into Formula E?
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Can McLaren make a success of its foray into Formula E?

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McLaren kept a two-time title-winning Formula E team alive after purchasing the Mercedes entry. But with new drivers and a switch to customer status, can it continue to succeed in its new orange era?

Exit silver, enter papaya. After two seasons spent gracing the top of Formula E, Mercedes elected to quit while it was ahead and in full command of the championship trophies available. Despite its withdrawal, it wanted to keep the team going. Thus, Mercedes motorsport CEO Toto Wolff and team principal Ian James worked to broker a sale before the two would stand opposite sides of a breakaway.

McLaren, looking to add to its electric racing portfolio alongside its Extreme E squad, snapped up the squad in its near entirety. Most of the ex-Mercedes personnel began a new life in orange, including James, but there was still the small matter of finding a new driving line-up and a new supplier; McLaren would have to operate as a customer team, in contrast to Mercedes’ status as a manufacturer of powertrains.

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