Dubai: Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button will race for his own team - JBXE - when the new Extreme E off-road all-electric series begins later this year, the Briton said on Monday.
Every team in the series, which aims to raise awareness about climate change by racing in some of the world’s most remote and harsh environments, must have a male and a female driver. Button’s teammate will be announced in due course.
“I’m delighted to announce I will be joining Extreme E for the inaugural season with my team jbxeracing. Can’t wait to get my hands on the Extreme E beast,” Button, who won his Formula One title with Brawn GP in 2009, wrote on Twitter.
Rivals will include teams owned by Formula One champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The series, which is run by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, is scheduled to begin in April after its opening race in Saudi Arabia was pushed back by two weeks.
Rounds will also be held in Senegal, Greenland, the Brazilian rainforest and Argentine glaciers of Tierra del Fuego.
“I’m thrilled to welcome another major name in the world of motorsport in Jenson Button,” Agag said. “He is one of the most popular drivers in the business and Extreme E will give him the opportunity to live out one of his long-held passions, to compete at the highest level in off-road racing.
“Jenson, alongside his peers, will give further weight to our mission to raise awareness of the global climate crisis, while doing what we love – racing. It’s going to be fantastic to see the biggest names in motorsport on the starting line in Saudi Arabia in April – it is set to be an incredible form of entertainment, but with a strong and purposeful message around our planet.”
Button added: “JBXE has been a long time coming and I’m both delighted and proud to announce its formation and entry into the inaugural Extreme E Championship. I caught the off-road bug a few years back which led to me entering my own team in a few races including the Mint 400 and even the Baja 1000 and I absolutely loved it! It was around the same time I first heard about the plans for Extreme E which I’ve followed with great interest and what Alejandro Agag, Ali Russell and the team have managed to create is nothing short of incredible, and thanks to them and our partners Apater Capital and Pipt we get to be a part of it.
“In Extreme E they’ve created a product that will offer first class racing and entertainment to the fans, but also serves to highlight the impact of climate change. Whilst we will of course compete to win on track, as a collective we will also work to maximise awareness whilst racing in places that have been damaged or affected by climate change over the years. Alongside the awareness piece, Extreme E themselves are committing legacy initiatives at each destination which help protect already damaged ecosystems impacted by climate change.
“On track I’m delighted to say there are some world class opponents to go wheel-to-wheel with and Extreme E is a world-first which sees true equality with male and female drivers both as teammates and as opponents out on track.
“On that note I still have the exciting task of appointing and announcing my co-driver which will take place in the coming weeks and then all focus will turn to the opening race in Saudi Arabia.”