Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg forming team to race in Extreme E electric series

Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for Greentech Festival
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Nico Rosberg, the 2016 Formula One champion, announced the formation of a team in Extreme E, the environmentally conscious series that will race 550-horsepower electric SUVs next year.

Rosberg Xtreme Racing will compete against a team (X44) started by former Mercedes-AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton, the six-time F1 champion who announced last month that he will field an entry in the series.

Rosberg has been an active investor in sustainability startups since retiring from F1 four years ago after his title. He also was an early investor and shareholder in Formula E, which was started by Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

The Rosberg Extreme Racing ODYSSEY 21 (Extreme E).

“We are thrilled to unveil Rosberg Xtreme Racing as the latest addition to Extreme E,” Rosberg said in a release. “The series represents an amazing opportunity to not only drive awareness but also inspire action in the fight against climate change – the single biggest threat to our planet today. Since retiring from F1, I have dedicated my career to sustainable technologies so to be able to combine these endeavors with my passion for racing is incredibly fulfilling.”

EXTREME DIRECTIONWhy Extreme E interested Chip Ganassi Racing

The series will consist of nine teams (also including Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport), and each will have a male and female driver who will trade stints in the events.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series, is delighted to welcome Nico Rosberg to the championship through the formation of his own team – Rosberg Xtreme Racing (RXR) – which will make its racing debut in 2021.

Led by 2016 Formula One™ World Champion and sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg, the team is an evolution of Team Rosberg, founded in 1994 by Nico’s father and 1982 F1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. RXR builds on the team’s success in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) as well as Nico Rosberg’s post-F1 career as an entrepreneur in the field of sustainable mobility.

Since retiring from Formula One, Rosberg has invested in numerous successful sustainability start-ups and is also an early investor and shareholder of the all-electric racing series Formula E. With his entrepreneurial commitment, Rosberg supports businesses that offer disruptive solutions in the transition to a sustainable society. In 2019, Rosberg founded the GREENTECH FESTIVAL, a global platform to showcase pioneering green technologies.

RXR and Extreme E share a commitment to educate and inspire the series’ audience to take action in the fight against climate change both internationally and locally across the five-race calendar which spans four continents. The team’s commitment extends to off-track activities and projects with high-level institutions and initiatives that generate measurable social and environmental impact in the remote locations which Extreme E is set to visit. One of the first projects that RXR will support in its opening season is an initiative by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which works with rural communities in Senegal to monitor available water resources and the status of vegetation.

Commenting on the team’s unveiling, Rosberg Xtreme Racing Founder and CEO Nico Rosberg said: “We are thrilled to unveil Rosberg Xtreme Racing as the latest addition to Extreme E. The series represents an amazing opportunity to not only drive awareness but also inspire action in the fight against climate change – the single biggest threat to our planet today. 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.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “We are ecstatic to finally announce that Rosberg Xtreme Racing will be joining our line-up for the first season of Extreme E. 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 as Founder and CEO of his own racing team. 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.”

RXR is the ninth team to sign up to Extreme E, which goes racing in early 2021 in five remote locations; arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier, and coastal; which are already damaged or severely under threat of climate change from a range of serious issues including melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification and rising sea levels.

Teams will race an electric SUV named ODYSSEY 21, which can go from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. It is manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, and purpose built tyres, designed by Continental Tyres, which are the most extreme the company has ever produced.

Coinciding with the team’s entry in Extreme E, leading eco luxury catamaran manufacturer Sunreef Yachts and the company’s president Francis Lapp have extended their partnership with Nico Rosberg and are now also an official team partner of Rosberg Xtreme Racing. Further partners will be announced in the coming months.