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Extreme E to kick off 2021 Season 1 in Saudi Arabia

Extreme E’s Virtual Series Launch marks six month countdown to opening race

Extreme E Event Summary

That’s right folks of the Middle East, the Extreme E Season 1 will start in Saudi Arabia! With COVID-19 vaccines hopefully coming soon, get ready to go to Saudi in March 2021 for the launch. The first race, Desert X Prix, will be held in the harsh sandy terrains in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia. We know we will definitely be there front and center. We are guessing this will be the biggest show of them all to mark the opening.

With sustainability at heart for Extreme E, the global launch took place virtually with all the racing teams joining remotely. Teams joining from UK, Germany, Spain, America and Asia unveiled their car liveries using CGI animation. 

I have never been so impressed to see proper key pillars being promoted by any organization – electrification, environment and equality. Electrification and environment come naturally with an all-electric race, but the last one equality is one to be respected. So much so that it is part of the racing rules, one female and one male driver per team. I only wish that this was around 15 years ago because my wife would have killed it! The pillars were reinforced throughout the presentation, which provided details on the championship’s sustainability goals, Legacy Programs and commitment to raising awareness of the climate crisis.

FIA Women in Motorsport

Special guest Michèle Mouton, President of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport commission spoke about her ambitions to make motor racing a level playing field for men and women saying, “For 10 years now we have been striving towards gender equality and equal opportunities in the sport. Extreme E is now supporting this philosophy and has taken concrete action that highlights female racing drivers’ competence. For me it’s a very very important element. We are really supporting seeing more women competing in a mixed environment and we are extremely pleased with this great opportunity for them.”

Michele Mouton

“Of course, the sporting format itself is revolutionary with men and women competing together and against each other. It’s so important for women to have the same material to compete on the same level. This is a chance I had during my time and it helped me to reach the top because I had no excuse, I just had to prove myself. So, a lot of high-profile female drivers have been attracted to the series because it’s another platform for them to showcase their talent.”

Alejandro Agag and Nicki Shields

Extreme E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag hosted the event with Nicki Shields, and delivered the series overview.

Agag said, “Our Virtual Launch has been an incredible format to unveil our Season 1 calendar and the team cars, whilst also refining our virtual experience capabilities – a key theme of Extreme E – particularly during the time of COVID-19.

“Our team has been working really hard behind the scenes and despite the pandemic and the challenges it has provided, we are on track for our first race in March 2021. The series has gained massive momentum with no less than two Formula One™ World Champions signing up with their own teams alongside other powerhouses in the motorsport world, and there is much more to come as we announce drivers in the coming months.”

Season 1 Calendar

Extreme E 2021 calendar

Joining Saudi Arabia, Greenland, Senegal, and the Brazilian Amazon, Extreme E will race in Argentine Patagonia officially replacing Nepal in the season 1 calendar. Changing the locations and delaying the start by six weeks was due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting series preparations. Adding on to that the additional complexity of getting to the proposed race region in Nepal, though series organizers remain committed to a visit in future Extreme E Seasons.

  1. Desert X Prix: Al Ula, Saudi Arabia 20-21 March 2021
  2. Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal 29-30 May 2021
  3. Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussusaq, Greenland 28-29 August 2021
  4. Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil 23-24 October 2021
  5. Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina 11-12 December 2021

The new Season 1 finale will take place in Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia, which will play host to the championships Glacier stage in December 2021.

Tierra del Fuego is in the most southern part of Patagonia, which is world renowned for its dramatic glaciers and snowy mountain landscapes, but these areas are undergoing rapid glacial recession, as well as suffering from ice thinning and permafrost reduction. The area is known as one of the world’s final frontiers and this breathtaking spot in Patagonia is home to the town of Ushuaia, often referred to as ‘the end of the world’ due to its location at the very tip of South America, with Antarctica to the South.

Team Livery Reveals

ODYSSEY 21

Team representatives who joined the launch were as follows:

  • Lewis Hamilton and Marc Hynes (X44)
  • Mattias Ekström and Thomas Biermaier (ABT)
  • Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Clarke (Veloce Racing)
  • Zak Brown and Catie Munnings (Andretti United)
  • Chip Ganassi and Mike Hull (Chip Ganassi Racing)
  • Adi Surjanto (Team TECHEETAH)
  • Miguel Valdecabres and Joan Orus (QEV)
  • Ulrich Fritz (HWA)
  • Nico Rosberg and Kimmo Liimatainen (Rosberg Xtreme Racing).

Each revealed their unique liveries in a virtual environment which replicated the series’ floating centrepiece, the St. Helena.

The ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV specs include:

  • 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent
  • Manufactured by Spark Racing Technology,
  • Battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering,
  • Niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame from CBMM
  • Continental Tires have purpose built the tires which are the most extreme they’ve ever made.

Watch the virtual launch event here if you missed it

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