Lewis Hamilton has taken on a new racing challenge, even as he closes in on a seventh Formula 1 World Championship. The British ace is to enter a team in the new Extreme E electric off-road series when it begins in 2021.
Hamilton, however, won’t be driving for the new X44 outfit (44 is his race number), taking the role of team owner instead. The championship will see Hamilton’s two as-yet-unnamed drivers–one man, one woman–race in five remote locations around the world. The Extreme E series has been founded by Formula E pioneer Alejandro Agag to draw attention to global environmental issues and will visit Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil in 2021.
Over an Extreme E weekend there will be four qualifying events on Saturdays and three races on Sundays, each staged over two laps of a five-mile course. Rather than flying the whole circus around the world, the operation will be shipped to reduce its impact.
Hamilton says: “It will be fun to have a different role from being the team driver. What’s most appealing, though, is that Extreme E will be not only raising awareness of some of the most critical environmental issues facing our planet but also doing something about it through working with local charitable organizations.”
“Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means much to me that I can using my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact.”
Despite burning fossil fuels at a brisk rate on the track and in the air traveling to races, Hamilton does genuinely seem to be conflicted about how he can reconcile his passion for racing and for the planet. He has gone vegan and gave up his own private jet in a bid to reduce his carbon footprint.