Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has launched his own team, named X44, which will contest the inaugural Extreme E season.
The move marks Hamilton’s first role in team ownership. F1 Legend has decided to name his squad as #44 race number that the Mercedes grand prix driver has carried in F1 since 2014.
Hamilton will not race for his own team, with X44’s driver pairing – one female and one male, as mandated by Extreme E’s rules – yet to be announced.
“It’s an exciting new project and it will be fun to have a different role from being the team driver,” said Hamilton.
“What is most appealing though, is that the Extreme E championship 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 organisations to leave behind no trace and a long-lasting legacy of change.
“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.
“I’m looking forward to the team taking part in this new series and I think it’s incredible that we can do so whilst raising awareness about the climate crisis.”
An initial livery render from X44 suggests that the increased purple Hamilton introduced to his F1 crash helmet design for the 2020 season will be carried over into XE.
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“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder,” said Hamilton of the series that starts in 2021.
“Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula 1 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.”
Extreme E will race in five remote locations that are already damaged or under threat from climate issues, such as the Brazilian rain forest and the mountains of Nepal, with teams to run male and female drivers.
“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,” added Hamilton.