Lewis Hamilton says he was attracted to Extreme E because it brings together two of his greatest passions; his love of motorsport and his passion for the environment.
The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion has launched his own team, X44, which will compete in the new off-road all-electric series which debuts in 2021, and will visit locations badly impacted by climate change, such as Africa, Greenland and South America.
Although Hamilton’s involvement will be minimal, given his role with Mercedes in F1, he says he’s excited to be involved in a racing series that will aim to make a real difference to the planet and the places it visits.
“What brought my attention to extreme E is the great places it’s going to go to,” he told BBC Radio 4. “And raising attention to the real climate issues.
“We’ve got some challenges ahead of us, the direction we are going as a human race is not good.
“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder. Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula 1 mean that I won’t be operationally involved in X44. But I’m excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life,” said the Briton.
“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus. Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact.”
Extreme E’s debut season consists of five rounds, starting in Saudi Arabia. The series aims to leave behind a positive legacy by promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
“Not only will we visit remote locations facing the front line of the climate crisis, we will also work closely with these locations and leading climate experts to share our knowledge and leave behind a positive legacy in each location which goes far beyond the race track,” added Hamilton.
“As Founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important values such as sustainability and equality. None of us are perfect and we all have improvements to make, but I am excited to use our platform to highlight the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of.”