Six-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton has announced the creation of his very own race team, X44, which will make its debut in Extreme E, the groundbreaking new electric off-road racing series.
Named with reference to Hamilton’s own racing number, X44 will enter Season 1 of the Extreme E Championship, with its first X Prix race scheduled to take place in early 2021 where competitors will race electric vehicles in five remote locations; arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier, and coastal; which are already damaged or severely under threat of climate change from a range of serious issues including melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification and rising sea levels.
“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus,” stated Hamilton. “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.
“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.”
As the team’s founder, he will not be behind the wheel or involved on a day-to-day basis, but he will put the learnings of his illustrious career into practice to help guide the creation of a dedicated and competitive team.
“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative,” confirmed Hamilton, “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 One 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.”
“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.”
Extreme E is utilising its sporting platform for the purpose of promoting electrification, sustainability, and equality. The series goal is to highlight the impact of climate change in some of the world’s most remote environments, promote the adoption of electric vehicles to pave the way for a lower carbon future, and provide a world-first gender equal motorsport platform.
Hamilton’s X44 team will use an E-SUV named ODYSSEY 21, is at the cutting edge of innovation for electric vehicles. Manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, it can go from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. With a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, it encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, and its purpose built tyres, designed by Continental Tyres, are the most extreme the company has ever produced.
X44 joins a roster of already announced teams and drivers including Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti United, Abt, HWA, Techeetah, QEV Technologies, and fellow British owned outfit Veloce Racing. Find out more about the series here.