Extreme E

X44 wins 2022 Extreme E championship

3 Mins read
Credit: Sam Bagnall

2022 might have been a difficult year for Lewis Hamilton as a driver, but at least the seven-time F1 World Champion can still add a trophy to his collection as a team owner.

X44 Vida Carbon Racing‘s Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébastien Loeb finished third in Sunday’s Energy X Prix Final to secure their first Extreme E championship, taking advantage of a disastrous weekend for rival Rosberg X Racing. RXR, the defending champion and run by Hamilton’s former F1 team-mate Nico Rosberg, dominated the 2022 season but were set back by multiple errors and penalties before a disqualification in the Energy X Prix’s Crazy Race sidelined them for the Final.

The Rosberg team could only watch as Hamilton’s outfit needed a podium to take the championship for themselves. Amidst a cloud of dust, Loeb and Gutiérrez struggled to keep pace in their backup car, a predicament that developed after Gutiérrez rolled in qualifying, with the leaders ABT CUPRA XE, McLaren XE, Andretti United XE, and Veloce Racing. Matters finally improved when Veloce received a five-second penalty for Kevin Hansen hitting a waypoint flag followed by a seven-second addition to Andretti for speeding in the switch area. Gutiérrez was able to close the gap to Andretti’s Catie Munnings just enough that the penalty would swing in X44’s favour and promote the team to third.

“I am so blown away by this come back after such a difficult day yesterday,” Hamilton posted on social media. “The team rebuilding, staying positing and coming out fighting. Wow, I’m so proud of the team and these two amazing drivers.”

X44 ends the season with 86 points, just two ahead of RXR, with a win at the Copper X Prix. It was a reversal of 2021 when RXR claimed the championship via tiebreaker.

“A devastating end to our Championship dreams. But second place is still something to be proud of,” reads an RXR statement. “A massive congratulations to X44, who take the win, our world-class drivers Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky & Johan Kristoffersson who gave it their all the entire season, our team of mechanics and engineers who defied the odds by getting our car back up and running, our partners who share our vision for a more sustainable future, the team behind-the-scenes, and of course… our incredible fans. We will be back!”

Besides X44’s title, the others in the top three enjoyed firsts of their own as ABT CUPRA notched their maiden victory while McLaren is finally a podium finisher. The result also means the two highest overall finishers of the 2022 Dakar Rally and World Rally-Raid Championship‘s T1 class—ABT CUPRA’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Loeb—end the season with podiums a month before returning for the 2023 edition; Gutiérrez also placed on the Dakar podium in the T3 category.

“It was a very tough weekend for us, especially after my roll yesterday. The team did a crazy job with the car and Qualifying #2 was the first time we had driven it,” said Gutiérrez. “As for the Final, on the radio they told me someone was going to be penalised but still I didn’t know. I wanted to be sure that we won so I did not celebrate before it was official. It was a rollercoaster, but it is much better than that for us as we can now believe in what we have achieved.”

Loeb adds another title to his decorated racing career that has included nine World Rally Cahmpionships.

“We could only go and compete with everything we had and try to score maximum points,” commented Loeb. “In the Final, it was a critical moment because I was fourth and we needed to be third. We had some contact here and there, but there was nothing I could do to overtake. Cristina did a great job to stay very close to the car in front and we knew potentially we were third. At the end it was what we needed so I’m really relieved to be here and really proud to win this championship.”

As Al-Attiyah’s team-mate, Klara Andersson won in just her second career Extreme E start. In placing third, Emma Gilmour became the first female podium finisher for McLaren Racing across all of their motorsport divisions.

Race results

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
1125ABT CUPRA XE10:26.537Nasser Al-AttiyahKlara Andersson
258McLaren XE10:29.964Tanner FoustEmma Gilmour
344X44 Vida Carbon Racing10:37.004*Sébastien LoebCristina Gutiérrez
423Andretti United XE10:35.566*Timmy HansenCatie Munnings
55Veloce Racing10:41.631*Kevin HansenMolly Taylor
* – Received a penalty

Final points standings

Teams Championship

RankTeamTotal PointsFinal WinsPodiumsContinental Traction Challenges
1X44 Vida Carbon Racing86141
2Rosberg X Racing84223
3ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team66020
4Chip Ganassi Racing63110
5McLaren XE52011
7Andretti United XE45010
8XITE Energy Racing33010
10Veloce Racing18000

Drivers Championship

RankDriverTeam(s)Final PointsPoints Earned
1Cristina GutiérrezX44 Vida Carbon Racing7381
1Sébastien LoebX44 Vida Carbon Racing7381
2Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskyRosberg X Racing6869
2Johan KristofferssonRosberg X Racing6869
3Carlos SainzACCIONA | Sainz XE Team6066
3Laia SanzACCIONA | Sainz XE Team6066
4Sara PriceChip Ganassi Racing5763
5Kyle LeDucChip Ganassi Racing5555
6Nasser Al-AttiyahABT CUPRA XE4646
6Emma GilmourMcLaren XE4647
6Tanner FoustMcLaren XE4647
7Klara AnderssonABT CUPRA XE4040
8Catie MunningsAndretti United XE3945
8Timmy HansenAndretti United XE3945
9Kevin HansenJBXE, Veloce Racing3335
10Tamara MolinaroXITE Energy Racing3233
11Hedda HosåsVeloce Racing, JBXE2526
12Timo ScheiderXITE Energy Racing2121
13Molly TaylorJBXE, Veloce Racing1212
14Oliver BennettXITE Energy Racing88
14RJ AndersonChip Ganassi Racing88
14Lance WoolridgeVeloce Racing88
15Christine GZVeloce Racing77
16Jutta KleinschmidtABT CUPRA XE66
17Ezequiel Pérez CompancXITE Energy Racing44
18Fraser McConnellJBXE22
Only the top four race results count towards the championship.
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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