Extreme E takes lead on gender equality in motorsport
Marking a world first in motor racing, Extreme E, the pioneering electric off-road racing series, will see teams field both a male and female driver in its races – promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors.
Teams will be composed of a male and a female driver, competing together in every two-lap race as driver and co-driver. Each will complete one lap behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 electric-SUV, with a changeover incorporated into the race format, and it’s up to the teams to determine driver and co-driver to best suit their strategy.
The only differentiators in Extreme E will be raw talent and ability, with teams and drivers striving to extract every tenth-of-a-second in the fight for the top step of the podium.
Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “This is a first in motor racing. We are ensuring with our sporting format that drivers of all backgrounds will be able to compete with the same tools at their disposal at every event on the calendar.
“We are striving for equality, and this sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal. Everybody will race together and the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineer and car will rise to the top.”
Michèle Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission said: “This is a great opportunity for women and men to team up, compete together and against each other with the same material.
“Alejandro [Agag] and his team continue to really support gender equality in our sport with concrete actions that help highlight the ability of female racers and give them a chance. It will be interesting to see the team line-ups as they are announced and I look forward to following Season One when it starts early next year.”
Extreme E Drivers’ Programme member Katherine Legge has forged a career in the upper echolons of motorsport, as the first female to race in Formula E and having competed in IndyCar Series and sportscars. Legge is extremely enthused by Extreme E’s format.
Katherine Legge said: “Hearing the format was like waking up on Christmas morning. It is a giant step in the right direction for motorsport as a whole. I have been looking forward to something like this my entire racing career!
“Formula E and now Extreme E, are at forefront of breaking boundaries in technology, sustainability, and climate change, and now Extreme E will challenge perceptions with gender equality too.”
Lead Visionary of Extreme E team Veloce Racing, and legendary multi-title-winning Formula 1 engineer, Adrian Newey added: “One of the reasons I became involved in Veloce Racing was to embrace new technologies and initiatives in this very fast evolving world. The last few weeks have clarified to me that more than ever we have to embrace change, diversity and keep one step ahead at all times.
“I have watched women make a mark throughout the world of motorsport over the years and there are some great individual stories out there. I hope we can create some more positive opportunities with this exciting young series and provide a strong platform for female competitors to shine.”
Extreme E drivers will compete wheel-to-wheel on the same stages, in the same 550 horsepower E-SUVs, using the same bespoke all-terrain Continental tyres in heats, semis and finals, taking place across the series’ five formidable environments in some of the most remote regions on the planet.
As well as being used as platform for equality and the promotion of electfication, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting icecaps in Greenland, and more.
The full race and championship format is approaching finalisation and will be revealed in the coming weeks. Further team, sporting and partnership announcements will follow as the championship continues to take shape apace ahead of Season 1, starting early 2021.