Formula One engineering guru Adrian Newey is partnering with two-time Formula E champion Jean-Éric Vergne to compete in the new all-electric Extreme E rally series launching in February, 2021.
The new team will be known as Veloce Racing, which until now has only been a presence in Esports racing, PistonHeads reports. Veloce Racing and Veloce Esports will exist in tandem, according to the series announcement.
“Everyone 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, so we couldn’t be happier to be taking part in Extreme E,” Newey said in the announcement.
Newey is currently the CTO for F1’s Red Bull Racing and was formerly responsible for the design of F1 cars for both Williams F1 and McLaren. His designs won constructor’s championships for all three teams (and ten in total), which makes him unique in the F1 universe. He was also recently chosen to design Aston Martin’s Valkyrie race car, which will be entered in the World Endurance Championship’s hypercar class.
Vergne currently drives for the Techeeta Formula E team, with whom he has won two consecutive driver’s championships. He is is the only repeat champion in Formula E’s brief history.
“For me, it was clear I had to be involved since I first saw the concept. Together with my other co-founders, we have worked incredibly hard to make this happen. We plan to be disruptive in our approach as we drive awareness of climate change,” said Vergne.
Veloce’s history as an Esports team may prove to be a good foundation for its campaign in Extreme E, where races will be held in remote (and likely spectator-free) locales intended to draw attention to vulnerable environments around the world. The series is designed to cause negligible environmental impact, with drone-based coverage minimizing the infrastructure requirements for spectators, who will almost exclusively watch the races remotely.
Extreme E’s Odyssey 21 race car was revealed in July.