Extreme E, the all electric SUV racing series which launches in April announced on Monday that 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson has not only set up his own team, Button XE but will be one of its drivers.
Button becomes the third F1 world champion after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg announced their own teams.
Speaking following the announcement, Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag commented saying:
Jenson, alongside his peers, will give further weight to our mission to raise awareness of the global climate crisis, while doing what we love – racing. It’s going to be fantastic to see the biggest names in motorsport on the starting line in Saudi Arabia in April – it is set to be an incredible form of entertainment, but with a strong and purposeful message around our planet.”
Jenson Button who only last week confirmed he has returned to Williams Racing as a senior advisor commented saying:
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. 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, and thanks to them and our partners Apater Capital and Pipt we get to be a part of it.
“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.
“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.
“On that note 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.”
The opening event of the Extreme E season gets underway from April 3 and 4 in Saudi Arabia.