F1 champ Lewis Hamilton sets up electric offroad team

LONDON (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has launched a team to compete in an all-electric offroad racing series, though he won’t be behind the wheel.

Hamilton said on Tuesday his new team will be called X44 in a nod to his F1 car number — itself derived from the number of his childhood go-kart — when the Extreme E series launches in 2021.

Extreme E will race identical, purpose-designed electric vehicles in remote locations in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Organizers say they want to raise awareness of damage to the environment and will have a legacy program to protect the areas hosting the races. There will be no fans on site and teams will travel on a converted cargo ship with an on-board laboratory.

“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus,” Hamilton said in a statement. “Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact.”

Hamilton’s team will have one male and one female driver, to be named later.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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