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McLaren has announced that its McLaren Electronic Systems branch will manufacture the electric transmissions and electronics for the new Formula E electric championship. The official FIA series will make its debut in 2014.
Formula E will make history by becoming the first fully-endorsed FIA championship to run on electric power – the potential future of motorsport. McLaren will work alongside Spark Racing Technology, led by Frédéric Vasseur who formed the ART Grand Prix team which has competed in numerous junior formulae.
“I’m a passionate believer in the role that motorsport can play in showcasing and spearheading the development of future technologies and regard the Formula E concept as an exciting innovation for global motorsport,” Martin Whitmarsh, F1 Team Principal and CEO of the McLaren Group, says in a statement.
“McLaren has worked with Frédéric Vasseur for many years and our association has been very successful. Working together in Formula E, McLaren’s world-class technology and Spark Racing Technology’s expert knowledge will combine to allow both companies to stay at the forefront of technical innovation and hopefully open up great opportunities for the racing cars of tomorrow.”
McLaren has a close relationship with the FIA, as the Woking-based company makes the FIA Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for all Formula 1 cars. Also for 2014, F1 cars were to be powered by electric motors when in the pit lane, although the general belief is that this idea has now been pushed back to a later date.
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