Extreme E teams will be required to field both a male and female driver; a move the fledgling electric off-road series says promotes “gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors”.
The driver pairings will spend one lap each behind the wheel during the series’ two-lap races, with driver changes built into the race format.
“This is a first in motor racing,” said Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO. “We are ensuring with our sporting format that drivers of all backgrounds will be able to compete with the same tools at their disposal at every event on the calendar.
“We are striving for equality, and this sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal. Everybody will race together and the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineer and car will rise to the top.”
The initiative drew support from Michele Mouton, president of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.
“This is a great opportunity for women and men to team up, compete together and against each other with the same material,” she said.
“Alejandro [Agag] and his team continue to really support gender equality in our sport with concrete actions that help highlight the ability of female racers and give them a chance. It will be interesting to see the team line-ups as they are announced and I look forward to following Season One when it starts early next year.”
Andretti Autosport became the first U.S. team to confirm its Extreme E program when it announced its plans earlier this month, and Michael Andretti said that the move is a step toward making the sport more inclusive.
“As the mindset of motorsports continues to evolve, it is efforts like these from Extreme E that will help bring new opportunities to light,” he said. “The world of motorsport is full of raw driver ability, both male and female, and we have had the privilege to work alongside so many of these top talents. I look forward to announcing our male/female driver lineup in the near future.”
The race and championship formats for the five-round inaugural season are expected to be released in the coming weeks.