2021 has started off with a bang, with the news that Jenson Button has announced that he will be joining the new Extreme E motorsports series - as both a team owner and competitor! The British Formula 1 champion will be featured in the hotly contested off-road motorsports series that focus on sustainable engineering contributing to a more economical environment.
Regular readers will recall that we reported on both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s entering of teams into the newly formed series when it was launched last autumn. However, Button is the first to confirm his participation as a driver, thus upping the interest greatly for many F1 fans.
Indeed, he has been at the heart of Motorsport for a number of years now, and since his departure from F1 racing, he has competed in a wide selection of motorsports, including taking home a title in the World Endurance Championships.
Jenson will enter his own team, named the JBXE Squad. As part of the Extreme-E rules, he has to have a female partner in the vehicle, but that person is yet to be announced. However, rest assured when that announcement is made, we’ll be posting about it here on Driving Experience!
Button has been a prominent and active part of motorsport behind the scenes as well since 2017, even now becoming an advisor to the Williams F1 team, and forming another team in the British Grand Prix, so even when not in the driver’s cockpit, his positive contributions to motorsport in general have sustained.
This newest venture is extremely exciting, as whilst both Hamilton and Rosberg will not be participating in the competition themselves due to their ongoing commitments in the forthcoming Formula 1 season, it’s extremely exciting to see renewed rivalries from F1 pass over into the Extreme-E League.
Furthermore, the exposure and attention around those that are competing are sure to generate unprecedented levels of interest. As we’ve spoken about in previous articles, the shift towards enhancing engineering through sustainable sources is crucial to the motorsport industry.
The attitude of looking towards the future is crucial for motorsport to continue to thrive and exciting competitions like this with big name support will be massive for the future of competitive driving.
The season is set to begin on 20th March, kicking off with the Desert Prix in Saudi Arabia. Following their broadcast of a three part series introducing the new racing series to UK viewers in June last year, Channel 4 look likely to be snapping up the broadcast rights for the races, but more on that of course as and when we get it.
For now, we cannot wait to see what’s in store for the fans, and at Driving Experience we’ll be watching with a close eye to see which teams find success early on! It’s an exciting time and one that we believe will be the future of motorsports.