McLaren has signed Rene Rast as its first driver for the 2022-23 Formula E season.
The historic motorsport team will make its FE debut at the start of the Gen3 era, running Nissan powertrains.
Rene Rast after leaving Audi earlier this week, stating there were “few motorsport opporutnities and development opportunities” with the squad. He instead switched to BMW.
Rast will be making his Formula E returned, having raced with the Audi Abt squad in 2020 and 2021. He took two podium finishes including a second placed finish in Mexico.
He also made a one-off appearance for Aguri in 2016, replacing Antonio Felix Da Costa.
“I am delighted to join the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team,” said Rast. “As a racing fan, McLaren has always had a huge appeal. It’s an iconic name in motorsport with a rich history, so I feel privileged and proud to be able to represent McLaren in Formula E next season.
“I’ve done a season in Formula E before, it was a great experience, and I feel 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!”
Rast rejoins Formula E with an extensive racing portfolio. Most recently, he has been racing in DTM and the World Endurance Championship. He currently lies third in the DTM standings, and fifth in the LMP2 WEC standings.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “Rene has impressed over the years in the series he has competed in. 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 for racing. I’m delighted to welcome Rene to the McLaren Racing family.”
McLaren will be taking over the Mercedes Formula E Team entry from next season, and carries over most of the backroom staff. This includes managing director Ian James.
“While we approach the start of a new chapter for the team, I am delighted to be able to add René to our driver line up for next season,” he said. “René has shown his race craft over and over again in every series he has competed in to date. 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.”