Extreme E is a brand-new motorsport series involving all-electric 4×4 vehicles racing off-road in locations around the world.
The 2021 season kicked the Desert X Prix, on 3 & 4 April in Saudi Arabia. Next up is the Ocean X Prix in Dakar on 29-30 May. There are nine teams with two drivers (see below for details) and thanks to the ‘gender-neutral’ requirement, that means each team has one female and one male driver.
Three of the nine teams are based in the UK, with ex-F1 world champion Jenson Button running and driving for one of them: JBXE. Lewis Hamilton is also involved as the team owner of X44.
When is the next Extreme E race on?
It’s in Senegal at Lac Rose (the pink lake) just north of Dakar. It’s the Ocean X Prix and here’s the schedule for the weekend:
Saturday 29 May
All times are British Summer Time (GMT+1).
Qualifying 1: 12.30-2.30pm
Qualifying 2: 5-7pm
Sunday 30 May
Semi-Final 1 & 2 (crazy race): 11am-12.30pm
The Final: 3-5pm
You can watch live on Sky Sports Mix and the Extreme E website. Qualifying rounds for all events will also be shown live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Originally, the season has been planned to start in Senegal on 23-24 January, but these dates were pushed back, then the series was delayed a second time due to the pandemic.
Which channel is Extreme E on in the UK?
Because Extreme E is new, the sport is mostly being broadcast on digital platforms (such as YouTube and Facebook) but Sky, in the UK at least, is showing everything on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports action. If you don’t have those channels, you’ll have to watch qualifying on your phone, laptop, PC or tablet.
You don’t need to have a Sky TV subscription and a satellite dish: you can get Sky Sports channels via Now (formerly NowTV) and there’s currently an offer of 25% off, bringing the £33.99 per month cost down to £25.
You can, of course, cast the video to your TV to see it on a bigger screen, or hook up your laptop.
Watch qualifying & semi-finals on:
Watch the Extreme E final race on:
BT Sport 1 (and HD)
Sky Sports Action (and HD)
Sky Sports Mix (and HD)
BBC Red Button (at 1.30pm)
ITV (and ITV HD 12-1pm, second hour only)
Aside from ITV, which is only showing the second hour of The Final, races won’t be shown on free-to-air terrestrial TV channels.
An easy way to watch on a smart TV is via iPlayer. The same goes if you have BT Sport 1 and a BT Vision box: you can watch Extreme E live on your TV with ease.
There’s also a magazine-style show to accompany the series called Extreme E: Electric Odyssey. This is being shown on Sky Sports Mix and is also available ITV Hub (where, oddly, it’s called Extreme E Magazine Show). It’s not available on BBC iPlayer yet.
Watching Extreme E on UK services when you’re abroad is possible if you use a VPN. Just connect to a UK server and you should be able to access iPlayer and ITV Hub, as well as other services, as if you were at home.
One VPN service we recommend is Surfshark.
How does Extreme E racing work?
On the Saturday two qualifying rounds are held with each team’s drivers taking it in turn to drive the course. Lap times between the male and female drivers aren’t comparable because one starts from the start line, but the second driver starts from the ‘switch zone’. It’s the overall time for each team which determines their qualifying result.
On Sunday are three races:
Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race)
The top three teams from Semi-Final 1 and the first and second placed teams from Semi-Final 2 qualify for the Final.
Starting positions for the final race will be decided partly by fans through the GridPlay voting system. The team with the most votes can choose their position on the grid. Teams that don’t make it through to the final race can ‘gift’ their votes to their preferred opponent. The remainder of the grid is decided by points from the previous races that weekend.
And there will be a standby team (the one that came fourth in Semi-Final 1) available for the final if there’s a problem that prevents a qualifying team from racing.
Each driver will race one lap with a changeover – called the ‘Switch zone’ – allowing the other driver from the team to also complete a lap. Races are up to 16km long.
Teams can choose which driver goes first and the decision is made confidentially, so competitors don’t know who will be in the car until they’re at the start line.
This rule is to ensure teams won’t always put male drivers against the men from other teams, and pit women only against the other females.
Plus, a ‘Hyperdrive’ boost button can be used on each lap of the race, giving drivers more power for a fixed amount of time.
Extreme E 2021 calendar
There are five race weekends:
Kangerlussuaq, Russell Glacier
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Extreme E teams & drivers
Here’s the full lineup of Extreme E teams and their drivers:
Abt Cupra XE (Germany)
Acciona Sainz XE Team (Spain)
Carlos Sainz Snr
Andretti United Extreme E (USA)
Chip Ganassi Racing (USA)
Hispano-Suiza Xite Energy Team (Spain)
Christine Giampaoli Zonca
JBXE (United Kingdom)
Rosberg Xtreme Racing (Germany)
Veloce Racing (United Kingdom)
Team X44 (United Kingdom)
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