McLaren Racing has signed Rene Rast, with the German the first of NEOM McLaren Formula E's driver line up to be announced as the team prepares for its debut in Formula E, starting 2022/23.
Rast makes his return to Formula E after a full-time spell with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler back in Season 7, with a best result of second in Puebla. The Minden-born driver's first appearance in the series came back in 2015/16 and was followed by a stint with Audi back at the Season 6 six-race nine-day finale in Berlin that earned him a full-time drive a year later. He scored his first Formula E silverware on home soil in the German capital, having impressed with his swashbuckling, combative driving style.
Rast is also a triple DTM champion, coming out on top in 2017, 2019 and 2020, and he has claimed overall wins at the 2012 and 2014 24 Hours of Spa, 2014 24 Hours of Nürburgring and class wins at the 2012 and 2016 24 Hours of Daytona.
Ian James continues as the team's lead - its Managing Director from September - with McLaren Racing looking for a smooth transition into their inaugural campaign and the Gen3 era, off the back of Mercedes-EQ's double title success which closed out the German manufacturer's time in Formula E.
“I am delighted to join the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team," said Rast. "As a racing fan, McLaren has always had 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 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!”
“While we approach the start of a new chapter for the team, I am delighted to be able to add Rene to our driver line up for next season," said James. "Rene has shown his racecraft 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 Rene.”
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, added: “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 of racing for McLaren Racing. I’m delighted to welcome Rene to the McLaren Racing family.”