Formula 1 champion and X44 team founder Lewis Hamilton spoke about what the new Extreme E venture meant to him at the championship’s global launch.
The series focus on environmental causes drew Hamilton’s attention, but he also highlighted how X44 hopes to bring opportunities to drivers and team members from diverse backgrounds.
“There’s a lot of work going on in the background but providing opportunities to those from a more diverse background is naturally a priority for us, but we are currently exploring the best ways to do that,” he explained.
“It’s not a quick fix for the motor racing industry to move into a more inclusive direction, I think it’s going to take some time, it is a process to address the inequalities that are along the career path for many people, but I really do think this is an opportunity for us to lay the foundations.”
Extreme E is unique in its approach to gender equality among its drivers, with both teams having to run one male and one female driver.
Racing at six unique locations, including the newly announced Patagonia, Extreme E’s focus is on raising awareness of environmental causes, another issue Hamilton is passionate about.
“I’m excited by Extreme E due to its focus on the environment and its mission to raise awareness about climate change, something which is really close to my heart and I’m really passionate about.
“It gives an opportunity for me to be able to merge my love of motor racing together with my love for the planet, and I think by bringing those two together we can have a positive impact”.
During the online event, he also mentioned that founding his own racing team had always been on his bucket list. “I’ve always wanted to have my own team I just never knew when it would be and when I heard about Extreme E I jumped right at it because of what the series means, what the series is going to do, it’s going to be quite powerful.
“Extreme E is so important because it’s going to keep people talking about the climate issue and inspire us to take action. It’s not just going out to these great places, it’s actually going to do something in those locations to make a change”, he added.
“I think to have a championship that will address traditional ways of racing and the negative impact motorsport does have on the planet and offers an alternative is great”, concluded the Brit when talking about the importance of this type of racing initiative.
Image courtesy of Extreme E