Dubai: Six-time reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has announced the creation of his very own racing team - X44 - which will make its debut in Extreme E, the groundbreaking new electric off-road racing series.
Named with reference to Hamilton’s own racing number, X44 will enter the opening season of the Extreme E Championship, with its first X Prix race scheduled to take place in early 2021.
As the team’s founder, he will not be behind the wheel or involved on a day-to-day basis, but he will put the invaluable experience of his motorsport career into practice to help guide the creation of a dedicated and competitive team.
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X44 and its Extreme E competitors will race electric vehicles in five remote locations: arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier and coastal; which are already damaged or severely under threat of climate change from a range of serious issues including melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification and rising sea levels.
Extremely pleased to be part of this new initiative, Hamilton stayed excited. “Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder. 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,” Hamilton said.
“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. 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 race track,” he added.
“As Founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important values 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,” Hamilton stressed.
In addition to raising awareness for climate issues, the series has established a Legacy Programme which involves working alongside the communities in its locations to leave positive impact dependent on local needs. Overseen by an independent Scientific Committee composed of leading climate experts from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Extreme E will provide a template for how racing, and the wider sports industry, can have a positive impact on the planet.
To minimise environmental impact, the races will not be open to spectators with fans instead following the action through live TV broadcast and on social media. The command centre for the championship series will be on board the RMS St. Helena, a ship which is undergoing a multi-million Euro transformation to minimise emissions and transform her into the operations, logistics, accommodation and garage base for the championship.
Founded by Alejandro Agag, the single-design electric vehicle driven by all competitors, is at the cutting edge of innovation for electric vehicles, and through them Extreme E hopes to develop tech which will find its way into everyday use, paving the way for a less carbon intensive future.