With the inaugural Extreme E season starting this weekend, there is a lot of anticipation within the motorsport community. With a novel idea, and an exceptional group of drivers taking part, this is going to be a very exciting weekend of extreme racing. What really sets this series apart is their focus on equality within the teams. Let’s take a look at why this is so important to the future of inclusion and female visibility in motorsport.
Every team in Extreme E has one male and one female driver. This means a lot of female drivers (as well as some male) are able to finally prove themselves within the world of elite motorsport. Here’s a look at every team competing in 2021:
ABT CUPRA XE: Claudia Hürtgen 🇩🇪 // Mattias Ekström 🇸🇪
ACCIONA SAINZ XE TEAM: Laia Sanz 🇪🇸 // Carlos Sainz 🇪🇸
ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E: Catie Munnings 🇺🇸 // Timmy Hansen 🇸🇪
HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM: Christine Giampaoli Zonca 🇪🇸 // Oliver Bennett 🇬🇧
JB XE: Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 🇸🇪 // Jenson Button 🇬🇧
ROSBERG X RACING: Molly Taylor 🇦🇺 // Johan Kristoffersson 🇸🇪
SEGI TV CHIP GANASSI RACING: Sara Price 🇺🇸 // Kyle Leduc 🇺🇸
VELOCE RACING: Jamie Chadwick 🇬🇧 // Stéphane Sarrazin 🇫🇷
X44: Christina Gutiérrez 🇪🇸 // Sébastien Loeb 🇫🇷
Why is this important?
A rule that there must be a female competitor in every team is huge for the world of motorsport. As stated in the W Series post, it is often said that women simply aren’t good enough to compete at the top level of motorsport. This will prove that this mindset is old-fashioned and incorrect. If women can compete alongside men on the world’s toughest and brutal terrains, why would they not be able to compete at the pinnacle of single-seater motor racing?
This also gives women a real chance to make a name for themselves. It has been announced that the final of each Extreme E round will be shown live on ITV in the UK on Sundays. With even Formula 1 now behind a paywall on Sky, this is a major achievement for the new sport. Being able to watch these drivers, both male and female, and get to know them closely will only improve their support in the long-term. With more fans and spectators pushing to see these women compete, it becomes increasingly likely that they will be competing more regularly in well-viewed championships such as F2/3, as well as Formula E.
The race format:
Saturday: Qualifying for an X Prix involves of two rounds of time trials, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The team starting order for these time trials is decided by a lottery draw. The top three pairs after Saturday’s time trials qualify for the Semi-Final. Those in fourth, fifth and sixth place will progress to the Crazy Race, with the bottom three teams competing in the Shoot Out.
Sunday: The Shoot Out, Crazy Race and Semi-Final take place, with the Crazy Race and Semi-Final results dictating who reaches the final. Three cars will compete in each race. The teams in first and second place from the Semi-Final and the Crazy Race winner will progress to the Final. The starting positions for Final will be decided through a GridPlay voting system that fans can take part in.