I’ve not watched F1 for a long time but while at my sister’s house, I thought I’d give Extreme E a go.
Extreme E is an off-road racing series that uses electric SUVs to race around the world. There are 5 different terrains:
- Desert (Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia)
- Ocean (Lac Rose, Senegal)
- Arctic (Kangerlussuaq, Greenland)
- Amazon (Santarém, Brazil)
- Glacier (Ushuaia, Argentina)
The purpose of the series, they say, is to raise awareness “for some aspects of climate change”. That part puzzled me given the footfall of all the drivers, team members, camera crew, etc. and travelling to some of the most remote parts of the world. But they take a boat to each destination—the RMS St Helena. I’m still sceptical on that part.
|ABT Cupra XE||Claudia Hurtgen and Mattias Ekstrom||Thomas Biermaier|
|ACCIONA Sainz XE Team||Laia Sanz and Carlos Sainz Sr.||Carlos Sainz Sr.|
|Andretti United Extreme E||Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen||Michael Andretti, Zak Brown, Richard Dean|
|JBXE Racing||Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Jenson Button||Jenson Button|
|Hispanso Suiza Xite Energy Team||Christine Giampaoli Zonca and Oliver Bennett||Sergio Martinez Campos|
|Rosberg X Racing||Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson||Nico Rosberg|
|Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing||Sara Price and Kyle Leduc||Chip Ganassi|
|Veloce Racing||Jamie Chadwick and Stephane Sarrazin||Daniel Bailey|
|X44||Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb||Lewis Hamilton|
A notable difference between this and other Formula racing series is male and female drivers together for the first time. It’s gender equality in binary form!
As for the racing itself, that part was fun. The first race was in Al-‘Ula, home to the largest continuous sand desert in the world and it definitely had a feel of Star Wars pod racing.
Overall, it’s a cool idea with awesome tech but I don’t think we need more awareness of the climate change—we need actions from corporations that make it worse so that part of the series falls flat. Oh, and the sponsorship placements are wild (as expected from an FIA-sanctioned sport). At one point, someone from behind the camera forced a driver to drink from his Red Bull-emblazoned bottle during a post-race interview (even though he was wearing a Red Bull hat).
Stream the highlights of the Desert X Prix below.