Former F1 champion Jenson Button joins electric rally series Extreme E

Kicking off in April, Extreme E aims to highlight the impacts of climate change and promote electric vehicles via a series of races in remote and extreme locations

British racing champion Jenson Button has become the latest global motorsports star to join Extreme E, the new electric rally racing championship which aims to highlight the impacts of climate change on remote locations across the globe.

Kicking off its inaugural season in April 2021, Extreme E will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments which have already been impacted by climate change or other pressing environmental issues. Starting in Saudia Arabia before five further races at other locations across the planet, the competition aims to highlight the impacts of human activity on the world’s ecosystems, while promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Button is the third Formula One world champion to join the Extreme E racing league, following in the footsteps of both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. A number of driving champions from the World Rallycross, World Rally, and Women’s Trial World championships have also already signed up to the Extreme E championship.

Button will both own a team – named JBXE – in addition to serving as one of its two drivers.

“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,” Button said. “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.”

Button will compete as a driver in his JBXE team. Credit: Extreme E
Credit: Extreme E

Extreme E is a spin-off from the hugely successful Formula E racing series, which has seen a number of top drivers compete in fully-electric cars in city centre locations across the globe since its launch five years ago. Last year it also emerged the organisers are planning a similar racing competition for electric-powered boats.

Alejandro Agag, founder of both Extreme E and Formula E, said Jenson and the growing coterie of big name racing drivers which have joined the electric rally championship over the past year “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,” he added.

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