2009 F1 champ Jenson Button is keen to learn as he tackles the new Extreme E series, a category he finds more scary than Formula 1.
Button enjoyed a stellar Formula 1 career, taking 15 race wins in total and the 2009 Drivers’ Championship as part of Brawn’s fairytale season.
2016 was Button’s final full season in Formula 1, and since then he has appeared in Super GT, the World Endurance Championship, Le Mans, DTM, the British GT Championship and now his new racing venture, Extreme E.
The all-electric series competes across a range of different terrains, all while promoting environmental awareness.
Button has his own outfit named JBXE, while 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg and seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton also have their own Extreme E teams.
However, Button is the only one of the three to actually compete, debuting at the inaugural event in Saudi Arabia, and he finds this form of racing much more scary than Formula 1.
“I’m definitely on the back foot but for me it’s all about learning, I want to do stuff that is challenging,” he told Reuters.
“However scary it is, I still want to race the car.
“In an F1 car you kind of know the limits… With this thing [the ODYSSEY 21 SUV], it can throw you through a bush. It might be OK but there might be a giant boulder on the other side. It’s definitely a little bit scarier than F1.”
— Nico Rosberg (@NicoRosberg) May 30, 2021
But on top of the racing stars, already Extreme E has attracted several manufacturers.
Lotus Engineering, who want to be selling only electric cars by 2028, partner Button’s JBXE squad, while Cupra serve as the technical partner to ABT, forming the ABT Cupra team.
And in the coming years, Button expects more manufacturers to flock to Extreme E.
“It has to be a fantastic playground for manufacturers to really learn and prove out their systems. And it’s a fun way to do it,” he said.
“It’s really good for Extreme E to have a manufacturer like Lotus and I think it will attract a lot more manufacturers.
“You will see the OEMs [carmakers] coming to the category, whether its next year or the year after. And it will just grow very quickly when we see that happen.”