It’s been a busy few days for 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button, first he was announced as a Senior Advisor to Williams F1, now his Extreme E entry has been revealed.
Team JBXE will not only be owned by Button, he will also be the teams driver.
Jenson said: “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 has spoken a few times, including writing in his book, about off-road racing and the harsh challenge of it so to enter himself into his own team is a huge step for him.
He competed in the Baja 1000, one of the most gruelling off road races in the world. His car broke down and he was stranded in the desert for nearly a whole day waiting to be recovered.
Button continued: “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 maximise 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 becomes the 10th World Champion to be involved with the series. F1 rival team owners Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Rallycross World Champions Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekström. Two WRC champions in Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, Women’s Trial World Champion Laia Sanz and a Pro-4 World Champion Kyle LeDuc. Button said: “On track I’m delighted to say there are some world class opponents to go wheel-to-wheel with and Extreme E is a world-first which sees true equality with male and female drivers both as teammates and as opponents out on track.
“On that note I still have the exciting task of appointing and announcing my co-driver which will take place in the coming weeks and then all focus will turn to the opening race in Saudi Arabia.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of the series said of the news: “I’m thrilled to welcome another major name in the world of motorsport in Jenson Button. 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.”
The first XE round takes place on the 3-4 April with the season having to be pushed back due to logistical reasons surprisingly not due to Covid-19, but actually Brexit.
The series will start in Saudi and then move on to Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and finish in Argentina in December.