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F1® champion Hamilton founds Extreme E team


The X44 team will race at five remote courses using electric SUVs.

Formula 1® world champion Lewis Hamilton has founded a team to compete in the new Extreme E off-road racing series.

The championship aims to put environmental issues in the spotlight and is scheduled to begin in January next year.

Hamilton's X44 team will race at five remote courses using electric SUVs, though the Briton's involvement will be hands-off owing to his F1® commitments with Mercedes.

"Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder," said the six-time F1® championship winner.

"Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula 1® mean that I won't be operationally involved in X44, but I'm excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life.

"Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus. Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact."

In offering a little more detail on the series, Hamilton revealed how he hopes to help create a "positive legacy".

"Not only will we visit remote locations facing the front line of the climate crisis, we will also work closely with these locations and leading climate experts to share our knowledge and leave behind a positive legacy in each location which goes far beyond the racetrack," he said.

"As founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important values, such as sustainability and equality.

"None of us are perfect and we all have improvements to make, but I am excited to use our platform to highlight the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of."

Hamilton leads the 2020 drivers' standings by 47 points from team-mate Valtteri Bottas after five wins from eight grands prix.

A seventh world title would put him level with the legendary Michael Schumacher.