Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton set for something new in 2021

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Jenifer Lorenzini - Pool/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Jenifer Lorenzini - Pool/Getty Images) /

No, he isn’t leaving Formula 1, but six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to take on a new role in 2021 with his ownership of the X44 Extreme E team.

Six-time Formula 1 world champion (and likely soon-to-be seven-time world champion) Lewis Hamilton has not yet signed a new deal for the 2021 season.

But it is believed that he and Mercedes will come to terms on a contract extension at some point in the near future, possibly before he breaks Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins; he currently sits at 89.

Regardless of what happens in that respect, however, the 35-year-old Briton is slated to be doing something new next year.

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Hamilton is set to enter Extreme E, the off-road racing series that uses electric SUVs to race in extremely remote parts of the world, in its inaugural season next year as a team owner.

He recently announced the creation of the team “X44” as a nod to his racing number.

Given the basis of this all-new electric racing series, Hamilton is also aiming to work toward his goal of raising awareness of environmental issues. The series is slated to maintain a “Legacy Program” intended to provide social and environmental support for the race locations chosen for the schedule.

The current schedule features race weekends in five regions: Ocean, Desert, Glacier, Arctic and Rainforest. The host nations for these races are Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil, respectively.

Seven other teams have been confirmed for the inaugural season of Formula E competition, including Abt Sportsline, HWA Team, Veloce Racing, QEV Technologies, Andretti United Extreme E, Chip Ganassi Racing and Techeetah. Each team is slated to have two professional drivers, one a male and the other a female.

Races will not be open to spectators in order to minimize environmental impact, but fans will still be able to follow along with the action live on television and on social media.

The command center for the new series is slated to be on board the RMS St. Helena. This ship is currently undergoing a multi-million Euro transformation with the goal of minimizing emissions and becoming the operations, logistics, accommodation and garage base for the sport.

Here is what Hamilton had to say about his newly announced team ownership in the series in a release.

"“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder. Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula One mean that I won’t be operationally involved in X44, but I’m excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life.“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus. 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.“Not only will we visit remote locations facing the front line of the climate crisis, we will also work closely with these locations and leading climate experts to share our knowledge and leave behind a positive legacy in each location which goes far beyond the racetrack.“As Founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important values such as sustainability and equality. None of us are perfect and we all have improvements to make, but I am excited to use our platform to highlight the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of.”"

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Here is what Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag had to say about the addition of Hamilton to the sport’s ownership lineup.

"“We are thrilled to welcome Lewis Hamilton and his X44 team to Extreme E. Like us, Lewis is hugely passionate about motorsport, but also shares our belief that we can use sport to highlight subjects which are vital to the world, such as climate change and equality.“Lewis is one of the most successful drivers of all time, and we’re all excited to see how his X44 team performs on and off the racetrack under his incredible guidance. A huge welcome to the Extreme E family Lewis!”"