A year of absence was enough for René Rast to return to Formula E by the hand of an iconic brand like McLaren, which will venture for the first time in the electric single-seater series.
With three DTM championship titles, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Spa and Nürburgring, and two class victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the driver will lead the NEOM McLaren adventure.
In an interview for the team’s official website, Rast spoke about the arrival of the Gen3 era, as well as the challenges and expectations within the squad for season 9.
“Being in the factory, driving my car and working with the team, it all feels real now and I’m very excited. Being part of the McLaren family is a great privilege and honor, and I look forward to what’s to come this year,” said the driver.
Challenges for the Season
Rast believes that his experience in the category will be fundamental in guiding McLaren’s steps in its debut. “I have knowledge in many ways and areas, and I hope to bring some of that to the team,” he said.
“I know how to race in the series, which is very different from other forms of racing. I think it’s important to have a driver in the team who knows how the game works in Formula E. Hopefully, these things can help me and bring value to McLaren,” he explained.
Rast stresses that his previous stint in the tournament will allow him to know how to cope within the street circuits, unlike drivers who come to the championship for the first time.
“It’s positive to have someone in the team who has already done a full season. I think outside of driving, the biggest asset I can bring is my knowledge of Formula E and how to win championships, which can complement the experience within the team and contribute to understanding and winning titles,” added Rast.
A New Car
When asked about the arrival of the Gen3 era, Rast specified that the new car has more power overall, with around 350 kilowatts of peak power compared to 250 of the Gen2, so 100 kilowatts more represents a big change.
“That’s the biggest difference, but not the only difference. Now we have an engine in the front, which recovers, the braking is different and the acceleration is different. However, the way the car handles is quite similar.
Rast lives his arrival at NEOM McLaren with motivation, and counts the minutes to go out on track at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, where Formula E season 9 will be inaugurated on January 14.