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X44 announce Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez

Nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb and Spanish rally driver Cristina Gutierrez join Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Extreme E squad.

Loeb has been involved in Extreme E for over a year, being one of the first drivers to join the championship’s Driver Programme last summer.

The 46-year-old took nine World Rally Championship titles between 2004 and 2012, and also has success in touring car and endurance racing.

On top of his regular rally performances, Loeb also has experience competing in electric racing, having run in the 2019-20 Andros eTrophy. He will return to the series for two events this year.

“Joining Team X44 is an opportunity for me to continue to do what I love, which is race, and I’m looking forward to competing in an electric vehicle,” he said. “I had the chance to drive the car recently and it is incredible.

“Cristina is a fantastic driver and I can’t wait to partner with her and see what we can achieve together. I am really impressed by what Lewis is doing in Formula 1 too, so to be able to work with him on this is an honour.”

Gurierrez is also an experienced rally driver. In 2017 she made history as the first Spanish driver to finish the Dakar Rally in the car category, finishing fifth among the debutants. She has since finished the gruelling rally three more times and also has success in the Spanish Rally Championship.

“I am really excited to join X44,” she said. “Not only will we get the opportunity to raise awareness of the climate crisis, which is very important to me, but I get to work with two heroes of mine.

“Sebastien Loeb is the most incredible rally driver of al time so I’m really happy that I get to partner with him and I hope to earn a lot. I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and have been watching Lewis race for years, so being asked to join his team is a dream come true.

“I drove in the car for the first time recently it was such a great experience, I can’t wait to see what it can do at each race.”

Team founder Lewis Hamilton added: “I’m delighted to welcome Sebastien and Cristina to X44. They are both incredible drivers and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do out there at each race.

“Cristina is an upcoming talent with a great future ahead of her and Sebastien is a driver I have admitted for so many years so I’m so proud and excited to have them on board.”

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Bethonie Waring

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