Nico Rosberg to launch own Extreme E team

By Matt WarwickBBC Sport
Rosberg Xtreme Racing car
Rosberg is the ninth team to enter Extreme E

Former Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg is putting his own team in the upcoming Extreme E racing series.

The off-road series has attracted several leading names, including six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg Extreme Racing is the ninth team to sign up to race in five remote locations across the world to raise awareness of climate change.

Extreme E will be broadcast live across the BBC, including on iPlayer and the Sport website.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collide at twh 2014 Belgain Grand Prix
Hamilton and Rosberg fell out over several on-track battles, including this collision during the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Rosberg is famed for his battles with Hamilton across their time together as team-mates for Mercedes from 2013 to 2016, part of a period where the team have dominated F1.

The childhood friends are remembered for having one of the most intense intra-team rivalries in the sport, which included several on-track collisions, with Hamilton winning titles on 2014 and 2015 before Rosberg took his one championship in 2016.

"The series represents an amazing opportunity to inspire action in the fight against climate change - the single biggest threat to our planet today," said Rosberg.

"Since retiring from F1 I have dedicated my career to sustainable technologies, so to be able to combine these endeavours with my passion for racing is incredibly fulfilling."

The all-electric series, which will race the four-wheel drive Odyssey 21 E-SUV, is the first time the pair will come head to head again - this time as team leaders, as both have taken a keen interest in sustainability within motorsport and beyond.

The series, set to get under way in February 2021, will visit territories - arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier and coastal - which have been affected by climate change, such as Greenland and Brazil's Amazon region.

It will also focus on diversity in motorsport - requiring teams to field one male and one female driver for races - reflecting Hamilton's concerns of a lack of diversity in the sport when he launched his own diversity commission in June this year.

Since retiring from Formula 1, Rosberg has invested in numerous successful sustainability start-ups and in 2019, he founded the Greentech Festival which showcases green technologies.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: "We are ecstatic. We have been talking about this project for many months and we are thrilled he has chosen Extreme E for his formal return to motorsport.

"There is clearly a great synergy between Nico's endeavours in the sustainability field and the aims of Extreme E so his team is a hugely welcomed addition to the series."

Other teams in the series include London-based Veloce Racing, who have F1 design legend Adrian Newey as part of their team.

Another high-profile driver who has taken an interest is Hamilton's current Mercedes F1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who took part in a recent testing session for the car, alongside Britain's Billy Monger.

Lewis Hamilton's X44 team livery design
Hamilton's X44 team car will have a purple livery