Lewis Hamilton entering team into electric rally championship

Lewis Hamilton has created a new racing team, which will compete in the first season of Extreme E when it launches next year.

The Formula 1 champion’s team will be called X44, and will compete in the off-road series which exclusively uses electric vehicles.

Although he will not compete himself, the Brit hopes the series can have a ‘positive impact’ on environmental awareness, an issue close to his heart.

Hamilton said: “Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder.

“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.

“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 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.”

The first season of Extreme E takes place in early 2021. The series was founded by Alejandro Agag, the man behind Formula E, an electric single-seater series that has seen massive growth since it launched in 2014.

Extreme E vehicles will be off-road-spec SUVs called Odyssey 21, with a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. The series’ goal is to promote electrification, sustainability and equality, with each round taking place in an area impacted by climate change.

No spectators will be allowed at the events to reduce the environmental impact, with each competition broadcast live online. A Legacy Programme has been set up to support the local communities in which they race.