Jenson Button’s JBXE Extreme E team has enlisted Lotus Engineering – part of long-time Formula 1 entrant Group Lotus – as a “technical partner”.
The new off-road electric racing series begins in Saudi Arabia this week, with Button joining fellow F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in entering a team for the championship’s first season.
Lotus Cars managing director Matt Windle said the JBXE tie-up was a sign of Lotus’s intentions around electric motorsport. It recently unveiled a concept car that it said indicated the possibilities for how Le Mans racers could look by 2030.
“We are on the cusp of an exciting new era of electrified motorsport,” said Windle.
“The complex technicalities of EV racing present a fascinating challenge, and using our learnings from more than a decade of electrifying sportscars – most recently with the Lotus Evija hypercar – we can bring valuable knowledge to the team.”
Button is the only one of the F1 champion XE team entrants who will be getting behind the wheel himself, sharing his car with Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky.
Their opposition includes World Rally legends Carlos Sainz Sr and Sebastien Loeb, the latter part of the line-up for Hamilton’s X44 squad.
“Lotus is a great British brand that is inextricably linked to motorsport, so we are delighted to welcome Lotus Engineering to JBXE,” said Button.
“Extreme E is a unique and exciting formula, full of ‘world firsts’ and challenges, and to announce that a brand such as Lotus Engineering is coming on this journey with us is a proud moment for myself and the team.
“We are very excited about our new technical partnership and can’t wait to show what we can do in the first race this weekend.”