Jenson Button joins Extreme E as driver and owner
Jenson Button has added his name to the Extreme E series as both a driver and owner, giving the organization their third Formula 1 champion. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg also will field Extreme E teams.
“I’m thrilled to welcome another major name in the world of motorsport in Jenson Button,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E in a release. “He is one of the most popular drivers in the business and Extreme E will give him the opportunity to live out one of his long-held passions, to compete at the highest level in off-road racing.
“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.”
Since retiring from Formula 1 full time in 2016, Button has raced in several other disciplines including off road.
He first ran on the dirt in the 2019 Baja 1000. Jenson’s father, John Button was a top rallycross driver in the 1970s and 1980s, claiming the runner-up spot in both the British Rallycross Championship and Lydden Hill Rallycross Championship in 1976.
Button’s JBXE, becomes the 10th team in the new series that will make its debut with the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia on April 3.
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With five races scheduled for 2021 in areas of the globe most affected by climate change, the Extreme E series already has an international flair.
The 10 teams represent five countries with Chip Ganassi Racing plus Andretti United for the United States, ABT CUPRA XE plus Nico Rosberg’s Rosberg Xtreme Racing for Germany, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team plus ACCIONA-Sainz XE Team for Spain, Team TECHEETAH for Indonesia and fellow British teams Veloce Racing plus Lewis Hamilton’s X44 for the United Kingdom.
“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,” Button said. “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 maximize 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.”
Button will announce his co-driver at a later date. The Extreme E series pairs one male and one female driver in each team.