Legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey and Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne have both become part of a new team created to contest the forthcoming Extreme E all-electric off-road series. Veloce Racing, co-founded by the team behind Veloce Esports, is the fourth Extreme E team to be announced, joining Venturi, ABT and HWA as confirmed entries for Season 1, which starts in February 2021 with a new class of electric SUVs (pictured above).
Two-time Formula E champion and former Formula 1 driver Vergne is one of the team’s five co-founders along with three British entrepreneurs — Daniel Bailey, Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Clarke — and Adrian Newey’s son, Harrison Newey, while Adrian Newey will serve as ‘Lead Visionary.’ Darryl Eales, former CEO of LDC and Andy Webb, former CEO of Marussia F1, co-chair the operation.
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Veloce Racing has assembled a very impressive group of people, making it an incredibly exciting addition to Extreme E. It has the input of a true technical genius in Adrian Newey and the backing of a world-class driver in Jean-Eric, as well as a number of highly-driven young entrepreneurs.
“Extreme E’s unique sporting challenge and its scope for engineering innovation offer up a compelling opportunity. No doubt Veloce Racing will be going all out to disrupt some of the more established names on the Extreme E entry list when we get underway in February 2021.
“In every area of the sports industry we have seen established teams founding Esports equivalents but this is one of the first examples where an Esports company has bought into a traditional sports series. I believe it marks a radical move for the industry. I wish Veloce Racing the best of success and can’t wait to see how they rise to the challenge.”
Adrian Newey is one of motorsport’s foremost technical masterminds, counting an unmatched 10 Formula 1 World Constructors’ Championship victories to his name with a record three different squads, while six different drivers have steered Newey’s designs to drivers’ world titles.
A key factor in Veloce Racing’s entry is to support Extreme E’s goal of implementing positive legacy projects in each race location and not only raising awareness of the challenges faced but actively aiming to improve those environments. Additionally, Newey sees the championship’s drive for innovation and top-tier competition as synergies.
“We are delighted to be announcing the launch of Veloce Racing, as well as confirming our place as a fully-fledged licensee entrant into Extreme E,” said Newey. “Everyone involved in Veloce Racing is extremely passionate about racing, competition and cutting-edge technology, as well as tackling environmental issues that face the world today, so we couldn’t be happier to be taking part in Extreme E.
“The series is an exceptional platform for developing new technology, drawing attention to the earth’s environmental challenges and driving change. Veloce will play an active role in as many of Extreme E’s legacy projects as possible to help regenerate the local environments. We now can’t wait to get started on our campaign.”
Co-founder Vergne added: “Today marks another great step for Veloce. I have always believed in the vision of Alejandro Agag and I strongly believe in the success of Extreme E.
“For me, it was clear I had to be involved since I first saw the concept. Together with my other co-founders, we have worked incredibly hard to make this happen. We plan to be disruptive in our approach as we drive awareness of climate change.”
Extreme E will race across remote environments severely damaged by human interference. Events will be staged over three days in head-to-head knockout format with track designers carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting racing action while generating no negative impact from either environmental or social perspectives.
Greenland was announced as the series’ first confirmed location in late August and the Himalayas, Rainforest, Desert and Indian Ocean island arenas also are planned for Season 1 in 2021.
Last week, Extreme E revealed a number of racers who have signaled their intent to compete in the series. These include six-time FIA World Rally Championship title winner Sebastian Ogier, FIA World Rallycross front-runners Andreas Bakkerud and Kevin and Timmy Hansen, two-time DTM champion and FIA World Rallycross driver Timo Scheider, and W Series winner Jamie Chadwick.