Adrian Newey establishes Extreme E off-road team


Fresh from a drive at the Goodwood Revival, Adrian Newey has just established a new Extreme E team alongside two-time Formula E champ Jean-Eric Vergne. The pairing’s new squad, Veloce Racing, will compete in the electric rally racing championship from its opener in February 2021 with Venturi, ABT and HWA also confirmed – and Sebastien Ogier and Jamie Chadwick amongst the driver line-up.

Veloce is a name only previously known in E-sport racing, so this marks its first entry into traditional (aka real) motorsport. Although Extreme E is not conventional either, because it uses a purpose-built, 550hp all-electric racer called Odyssey 21 and will be hosted in some of the world’s most vulnerable places – all in a bid to highlight the damage humanity is doing to them.


In fact, Veloce said it’s this highlighting of global destruction that has drawn it to the championship, with the firm announcing that it is eager to β€œsupport Extreme E’s goal of implementing positive legacy projects in each race location and not only raising awareness of the challenges faced but actively aiming to improve those environments”. Newey added that β€œeveryone involved in Veloce Racing is extremely passionate about racing, competition and cutting-edge technology, as well as tackling environmental issues that face the world today”. Touching, no?

Rounds are due to take place in the Arctic, on an Asian glacier, next to the Amazon rainforest, on the Sahara Desert and on a Pacific Ocean island. If that all sounds bizarre, in order to the reduce the impact of this global motorsport series, Extreme E has purchased ex-Royal Mail ship RMS St Helena for Β£32 million to be its floating base, reducing the demand for air travel.


RMS St Helena, which is currently being modernised to lower its emissions, will carry the cars, operations equipment and pretty much everything else (barring the drivers and team staff, we assume) needed to host a championship at the five planned venues. The racing itself will run using a knockout format,Β while drones handle the filming duties - presumably to reduce the infrastructure that needs to be put into place.

There’s no mention of spectator grandstands or viewing spots on Extreme E’s website, which comes as little surprise given the intended locations, but it may hamper the appeal a bit. Still, with Newey, Verge and Ogier amongst Extreme E’s ranks, the series appears to have legs. Not that most of us lot will fall into the target market; we suspect this is a series very much looking to motivate Generation Z. We wish it luck!

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (18) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Turbobanana 19 Sep 2019

    PH said:
    tackling environmental issues that face the world today”. Touching, no?
    I'll don my hard hat, but no: I love the fact that he's involved in this, but from a sporting perspective. Don't try to make it he's saving the planet after decades of very successfully designing cars with the environment resolutely at the back of his mind.

    Also, can you please proof-read and explain what this means:

    PH said:
    Extreme E has purchased ex-Royal Mail for £32 million to be its floating base

  • Dynamic Space Wizard 19 Sep 2019

    Having seen some of the Tesla fire videos on YouTube, I wouldn't want to be bobbing about in the middle of the ocean in a boat full of these things.

  • sinbaddio 19 Sep 2019

    Turbobanana said:
    PH said:
    tackling environmental issues that face the world today”. Touching, no?
    I'll don my hard hat, but no: I love the fact that he's involved in this, but from a sporting perspective. Don't try to make it he's saving the planet after decades of very successfully designing cars with the environment resolutely at the back of his mind.

    Also, can you please proof-read and explain what this means:

    PH said:
    Extreme E has purchased ex-Royal Mail for £32 million to be its floating base
    Agree completely.

  • cookie1600 19 Sep 2019

    Dynamic Space Wizard said:
    Having seen some of the Tesla fire videos on YouTube, I wouldn't want to be bobbing about in the middle of the ocean in a boat full of these things.
    Or presumably beside the Amazon forest - although the locals seem to be burning that down with a vengeance.

  • Mr-B 19 Sep 2019

    Let's go to the Arctic with a few hundred race personnel in tow and race some oversized Tamiya's to draw attention to the fact that the environment is being damaged by human activity, really? How much weed had they smoked when they came up with that one?

    Motor racing is not friendly to the environment, just accept it and don't try and justify it with this cobblers. Slightly OT but F1 downsized to (awful sounding) V6 turbos to be "more efficient", well done, good effort, and now they add another 3 races to the calendar from next year with the associated carbon footprint of 100,000+ people attending each of those events and the jumbo jets needed to cart the F1 circus to those additional circuits, those V6's must be very efficient to offset all that CO2. Just give us back the V8's FFS!

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