Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez are the latest pairing to be announced for the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021 as they join the X44 team, founded by seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Loeb has an impressive nine World Rally Championships under his belt along with 79 race wins, he has also claimed race wins in sports cars, touring cars and rallycross.
The Frenchman also has experience in off road action in SUV’s having previously take on the Dakar rally with Peugeot.
“Joining team X44 is an opportunity for me to continue to do what I love, which is race, and I’m looking forward to competing in an electric vehicle – I had the chance to drive the car recently and it is incredible,” said Loeb.
“Cristina is a fantastic driver and I can’t wait to partner with her and see what we can achieve together. I am really impressed by what Lewis is doing in Formula 1 too, so to be able to work with him on this is an honour.”
Gutiérrez made history in the 2017 Dakar Rally by becoming the first Spanish female driver to finish the race in the car category, finishing fifth place.
She has finished the endurance epic four times now and has quickly adapted to the changing conditions on the toughest rally in the world.
“I am really excited to join X44. Not only will we get the opportunity to raise awareness of the climate crisis, which is very important to me, but I get to work with two heroes of mine,” said Gutiérrez.
“Sébastien Loeb is the most incredible rally driver of all time so I’m really happy that I get to partner with him and I hope to learn a lot. I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and have been watching Lewis race for years, so being asked to join his team is a dream come true. I drove in the car for the first time recently and it was such a great experience, I can’t wait to see what it can do at each race.”
X44 Founder Lewis Hamilton added, “I’m delighted to welcome Sébastien and Cristina to X44. They are both incredible drivers and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do out there at each race.
“Cristina is an upcoming talent with a great future ahead of her, and Sébastien is a driver I have admired for so many years so I’m so proud and excited to have them on board.”
Both drivers have already had a taste of the vehicle after testing at Donington Park on their off road stages.
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme concluded, “X44 has certainly picked a strong driver pairing, and I’m delighted to welcome possibly the greatest rally driver of all-time, Sébastien Loeb, and his teammate Cristina Gutiérrez, to the Extreme E family. The pair bring with them a wealth of off-road and rally experience, which will stand them in good stead when it comes to racing next year.
“We have now announced over half of the grid for our inaugural season and it is shaping up to be a fantastic competition with drivers, both male and female, from a mix of ages and motorsport disciplines getting behind the wheel of our electric SUV. I can’t wait to go racing next year!”