Extreme E announces format changes for Season 3

Charly Lopez/Motorsport Images

Extreme E announces format changes for Season 3

Extreme E

Extreme E announces format changes for Season 3


Extreme E will undergo a drastic sporting change for its third season which will double the number of rounds from five to 10 and increase the number of multi-car races at each round.

Each race event will be run as a doubleheader, with two full championship rounds taking place over the course of a two-day race weekend. The move will not only maximize track time for the series, but will also allow the championship to expand drastically without any further environmental impact by adding to the calendar.

“Since launching Extreme E, we have worked hard to improve the level of racing out on course to ensure it is thrilling to watch with plenty of action,” said series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. “This new sporting format goes even further to deliver that, with now double the amount of racing action on some of the toughest courses in the world, leaving zero additional impact on the planet.

“To have a 10-race championship in Extreme E is a tantalizing prospect for everyone on board and we believe the increased number of races will only enhance our series.”

The switch to a doubleheader format comes after the Island X Prix was effectively run as a doubleheader, with two championship rounds taking place in Sardinia across five days last summer.

After that, Agag hinted that the series was set to adopt a doubleheader format, telling a media collective that included RACER: “I think it’s also a very good way to optimize the use of the infrastructure to do 10 races.

“I would like to do five doubleheaders…(it) would make the championship battle more interesting too,” he said last September at the Copper X Prix in Chile.

What’s more, on-track action will be further enhanced with the scrapping of single-lap qualifying in favor of five-car races in both Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2.

A championship round will comprise a pair of five-car qualifying races, with the top five teams across those two races — the fastest team through the “Traction Challenge” sector being the deciding factor between the third-placed teams — going into the Grand Final, the winner of which will be declared the round winner.

The remaining five runners will contest a Redemption Race to determine positions six through 10 for the event.

Lap counts, once again, will depend on the location and track length. Last year the races in Saudi Arabia and Sardinia were two laps in length, while the races in Chile and Uruguay were both four laps long owing to a shorter course. There will continue to be a 50-50 split for the drivers in each race as well, with a driver change at the halfway point.

Extreme E aims to increase both the spectacle and opportunities for its teams with its race format changes. Charly Lopez/Motorsport Images 

“We’ve continuously improved the racing spectacle since launching Extreme E, but for Season 3 we wanted to create something spectacular and we feel this new sporting format achieves that,” said James Taylor, chief championship officer at Extreme E. “At each round, there will be double the opportunity for points and podiums — meaning a lot more to play for at each race weekend, while drivers and teams will have to navigate that racing tightrope of risk and reward to ensure they achieve the maximum result.

“Having a 10-race championship should really close up those standings as the season progresses, meaning a thrilling Extreme E campaign should be in store for 2023 and we cannot wait for it to begin.”

GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing team boss Dave Berkenfield reacted positively to the format change, pointing out the increased opportunities for teams to engage in a championship fight.

“With five rounds, if a team dominates for two or three early rounds, they’re basically checked out and it’s incredibly hard for the other teams in the field to catch up and make up that gap,” he told RACER. “With 10 rounds, the sporting opportunity for all the teams to stay competitive throughout the whole season is really there.

“It’s really good. It’s good for our partners, it’s good for our commercial partners, it’s good for the series’ commercial partners, double the opportunity for trophies and getting on the top step or on the podium there.”

Extreme E goes into its third season on March 11-12 after enjoying a 30 percent increase in its global audience during 2022, coming in at 135 million viewers — 90.5 million coming via TV and another 44.5m watching on digital platforms — across more than 200 countries.

Season 3 kicks off in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, marking the third time the country has hosted the Extreme E season opener, albeit at the third different location in the Middle East nation.

The series will then move onto Scotland on May 13-14 before returning to Sardinia on July 8-9. A race in the Americas, either in Brazil or the USA, is earmarked for September 16-17 before the season concludes on December 2-3 with a return to Antofagasta, Chile.