Following in the footsteps of Formula 1 World Champions Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button has announced he will be running and driving for his own team in the inaugural season of Extreme E– the world’s first all-electric off-road series.
The pioneering championship will race in extreme environments across the globe with the aim of raising awareness for areas affected by climate change and human activity. In addition to racing with fully-electric SUVs, races will not be open to spectators to minimise the series’ carbon footprint and model sustainable behaviour in motorsports.
“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.” Said Button.
“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.”
Button commended the Extreme E project, and highlighted his ambitions to campaign for environmental awareness by racing in the series.
“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. “
The 2009 F1 Champion will race alongside an unannounced female driver in his JXBE team, with his team-mate to be revealed in the coming weeks. The series focuses not only on raising environmental awareness, but providing equal opportunities for both men and women in motorsports, with high-profile female driver Jamie Chadwick set to compete with Veloce, who have appointed F1 design legend Adrian Newey to play a role in the team.
“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.
“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.”
Set to begin in April, Extreme E will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer and Red Button.