F1 champ Lewis Hamilton sets up electric offroad team
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, Hungary, Sunday, July 19, 2020. (Leonhard Foeger/Pool via AP)
LONDON -- Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has launched a team to compete in an all-electric offroad racing series, though he won't be behind the wheel.
Hamilton said on Tuesday his new team will be called X44 in a nod to his F1 car number -- itself derived from the number of his childhood go-kart -- when the Extreme E series launches in 2021.
Extreme E will race identical, purpose-designed electric vehicles in remote locations in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.
Organizers say they want to raise awareness of damage to the environment and will have a legacy program to protect the areas hosting the races. There will be no fans on site and teams will travel on a converted cargo ship with an on-board laboratory.
"Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus," Hamilton said in a statement. "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."
Hamilton's team will have one male and one female driver, to be named later.