Lewis Hamilton has launched his very own Extreme E team that will join the new series in its inaugural year in 2021.
His X44 team – the number being the same as the number he uses in Formula 1 – will be part of the new electric off-road racing series but Hamilton himself will not be driving, nor will be involved in any of the day-to-day operations.
But as the new series focuses on environmental issues, Hamilton wanted to get involved in the initiative in at least some capacity.
“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder,” Hamilton said in an official statement.
“Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula 1 mean that I won’t be operationally involved in X44, but I’m excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life.”
“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus. Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact.
“Not only will we visit remote locations facing the front line of the climate crisis, we will also work closely with these locations and leading climate experts to share our knowledge and leave behind a positive legacy in each location which goes far beyond the racetrack.
“As Founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important value s such as sustainability and equality.
“None of us are perfect and we all have improvements to make, but I am excited to use our platform to highlight the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of.”
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Lewis Hamilton and his X44 team to Extreme E.
“Like us, Lewis is hugely passionate about motorsport, but also shares our belief that we can use sport to highlight climate change and equality.
“Lewis is one of the most successful drivers of all time, and we’re all excited to see how his X44 team performs on and off the race track under his incredible guidance.”
Extreme E now has eight teams signed up for its debut campaign with Team X44 joining Abt Sportsline, HWA, Veloce Racing, QEV Technologies, Andretti United Extreme E, Chip Ganassi Racing and Techeetah.
The series is due to start in Senegal on January 22-24 in 2021.