Reigning W Series champion and Williams Formula 1 development driver Jamie Chadwick will drive for Veloce in the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021.
Chadwick will make up one-half of Extreme E’s mandatory male/female driver pairing for Veloce when the all-electric off-road series finally gets underway on March 20-21, 2021 with its Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia.
Extreme E will mark Chadwick’s first foray into off-road competition and she spent last week testing the ODYSSEY 21 at Fontjoncouse in southern France, with a further test planned next month at Aragon.
“I am proud to be driving for Veloce Racing in such a revolutionary championship as Extreme E,” said Chadwick.
“I have been involved with Veloce for a very long time and they are like a family to me, so I am incredibly honoured to be their female driver for what is such an exciting and important race series.
“Climate change is something that affects us all, so I’m really keen to start doing my part to fight it. I can safely say that testing the car was one of the best and most fun experiences I have had in my career so far.
“I can’t wait to get out to the amazing venues where we’ll be racing next year; these are some of the most beautiful and endangered locations on our planet. Both on and off-track, it promises to be an incredibly rewarding journey.”
Veloce team manager Ian Davies added: “Jamie’s first test in the ODYSSEY 21 during our shakedown in France last week was a very positive and encouraging start.
“Her experience from single-seater and GT competition was invaluable to the early development of our car – from quick driver changes to initial and mid-corner turn-in – and she had significant input into our engineering refinements.
“Jamie would be the first to acknowledge that off-road driving is completely new to her, but she is a fast learner and she listened carefully to everything we had to say, worked well with the engineers, took it all on-board and – most importantly – got quicker and quicker with every run.”
Chadwick has spent 2020 competing in the Formula Regional European Championship with Prema, but was set to defend her W Series title before the season was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, W Series announced that it would be joining the F1 support package with a programme of eight races next year, with the exact locations and 2021 driver line-up yet to be announced.
As it stands, there are currently three F1/Extreme E clashes on March 20-21 (Australia/Saudi Arabia), August 28-29 (Spa/Greenland) and October 23-24 (USA/Brazil).
Chadwick will continue with her single-seater commitments in 2021, with an announcement expected in due course.
Chadwick’s Veloce team-mate is yet to be announced, but other drivers lined-up for Extreme E’s inaugural year include Mattias Ekstrom (Abt), Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen (Andretti United) and Sara Price and Kyle Leduc (Chip Ganassi Racing).
The championship has attracted other names from the world of F1, with ex-rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg starting their own respective teams. Neither will be driving, and they are yet to reveal their team line-ups.