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NEOM, McLaren developing program for Saudi graduates, announce new racing partnership

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McLaren and NEOM are developing a bespoke program for 20 Saudi graduates from NEOM’s graduate program to partake in a one-year placement with McLaren Racing at the McLaren Technology Center in the UK.

The program is expected to be launched in 2023 “in line with NEOM’s commitment to developing Saudi talent,” a statement said.

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Additionally, McLaren is also set to the become a founding partner of the OXAGON development in Saudi Arabia. The British racing company will be located within OXAGON’s Research and Innovation Campus.

Comprising a large area in the southwest corner of NEOM, OXAGON is centered around the integrated port and logistics hub that will house most the city’s anticipated residents.

A defining feature of the city is the world’s largest floating structure, which will become a center for NEOM’s Blue Economy and achieve sustainable growth.

In line with this theme, NEOM also announced a title partnership agreement with McLaren Formula E and Extreme E racing teams – bringing both all-electric races under the ‘NEOM McLaren Electric Racing’ banner.

“This is an incredible way to kick off our entry into Formula E and to unify our electric racing series. We are thrilled to introduce NEOM McLaren Electric Racing and to work with NEOM to nurture talent and drive innovation,” Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said in a statement.

“Working with OXAGON will allow us to make meaningful contributions through our Accelerator program and assist with the development of advanced and clean industries,” he added.

The partnership is said to portray NEOM’s commitment to sustainable goals in motorsport. It comes after the success of NEOM’s Mercedes-EQ Formula E principal partners relationship.

“Our partnership with McLaren Racing complements NEOM’s commitment to driving sustainable solutions and tackling some of society's most pressing challenges,” Nadhmi al-Nasr, the CEO of NEOM said.

The partnership will reportedly allow both parties to pool their resources and arrive at results that can have a broader impact on the automotive and sports industries.

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team will be formed through the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, expected to complete later this year, which will see the reigning champion team become part of the McLaren racing family, the statement clarified.

Saudi Arabia has invested significantly in motorsport in recent years, with the Ministry of Sport signing agreements to host Formula E, Extreme E, Formula One and the Dakar Rally.

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