2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button will join the Extreme E series for its inaugural season that is set to kick off in Saudi Arabia on 3-4 April.
Jenson Button has become the third former Formula One World Champion to create an own team in the fully electric off-road racing series after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg announced earlier their commitment to the new series. However, unlike the seven-time and the 2016 world champion, Button will play a role not only as a team owner, but also as a driver.
The team that will race in the championship founded by Formula E co-creator Alejandro Agag will be named JBXE and the initial photos indicate that the team’s car will feature a white and fluorescent yellow scheme.
The regulations of the new series state that each team is obliged to race with a male and a female driver. The JBXE is yet to announce the female driver who will race alongside Button.
Speaking to SkySports, Button said: "There are three F1 world champions that have a team in Extreme E. There are multiple world champion rally drivers, rally-cross drivers, Dakar champions, off-road champions from the States… it's an insane line-up.
"It's five races around the world in areas that have been affected by climate change and that have big environmental impact from climate change,” he added. „The great thing is that we will be racing in those places, so it's bringing awareness, which is the whole point of this category, and there will also be scientists on the ground researching those areas and hopefully learning from them, so we can put it right in the future.
I’m delighted to announce I will be joining Extreme E for the inaugural season with my team @jbxeracing Can’t wait to get my hands on the Extreme E beast 💪🏽. Thanks again to our fantastic partners Apater Capital and @pipt. Follow @jbxeracing to keep up to date with the teams news pic.twitter.com/7W14XkZ5vS— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) January 25, 2021
"There are so many positives to be taken from this championship. I'm really excited about it, excited about competing against the best in the world in off-road and driving these electric vehicles in place that most people haven't ever been before,” Button concluded.
Extreme E began in 2018 as a project led by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag and former driver Gil de Ferran. The series was presented to the public in January 2019 with an event in London. The announcement took place on board of the RMS St Helena ship.
The calendar of the inaugural season features five different events with the xPrix set to take place in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Argentina. The logistics is based around the St Helena, a former Royal Mail Ship, which will serve as a floating paddock and headquarters for the series. It will carry all equipment, including the cars in order to reduce carbon emissions compared to air freight.