Mixed gender teams for new Extreme E series

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The new Extreme E series has claimed a first by announcing all teams must field male and female drivers in the competition.

Each member of the two-driver team will be required to complete one of the two laps around the courses.

Extreme E is due to launch next year. The championship was created by Formula E founded Alejandro Agag, and will pit teams against each other in identical 550bhp electric SUVs across a range of hostile terrains.

While mixed gender teams are not new to motorsport, this will be the first time a championship has required all teams to include male and female drivers. Agag said the championships is “ensuring with our sporting format that drivers of all backgrounds will be able to compete with the same tools at their disposal at every event on the calendar.

“We are striving for equality, and this sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal,” he said. “Everybody will race together and the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineer and car will rise to the top.”

Former rally driver Michele Mouton, now president of the FIA women in motorsport commission, said the championship will offer “a great opportunity for women and men to team up, compete together and against each other with the same material.

“Alejandro and his team continue to really support gender equality in our sport with concrete actions that help highlight the ability of female racers and give them a chance. It will be interesting to see the team line-ups as they are announced and I look forward to following season one when it starts early next year.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Mixed gender teams for new Extreme E series”

  1. Marvellous. Sporting precedent in mixed doubles tennis, seal of approval from Michele Mouton and Katherine Legge. Sounds fair enough.

  2. William Jones
    30th April 2020, 9:12

    E Racing’s version of mixed doubles!

  3. Having mixed teams could be a good opportunity to finally put to bed the “women aren’t fast” argument. BUT the flip side is that if they don’t get the right calibre of driver then it could potentially make the problem worse. I worry that this will become the armchair sexist’s new favourite argument in favour of why women just can’t hack it. Hope I’m wrong.

    1. Luke Longnecker
      30th April 2020, 15:16

      I think the latter will happen, and this will blow up in the organizer’s face.

  4. I quite like the idea but wonder how the driver change will take place. Here is the link to the official page.
    I think the female driver will be more determinant than the male but will be great to have the possibility to evaluate best of male, best of female and difference between gender, all in a single race…

    1. Yeah, i think i quite like the concept of it @jeanrien. They want to put cars and drivers to the test in a new “extreme” format, so why not add the provision that it includes both male and female drivers.

      I hope to see an interesting dynamic developing.

  5. want to do the same with war? Hopefully there will be enough women invested in doing this. Michele’s comment makes total sense, it should be fun but if Alejandro thinks his comment makes sense, then the world is lost.

  6. There does seem to be some decent pedigree here, Katherine Legge in particular was a driver who I followed during her stint in CART.

  7. Why are they keeping old, colored or poor people out of the sport by not forcing their inclusion in the same way if “equality” and “all backgrounds” is so important to them? Because of course it really wasn’t about that at all. It’s just a sales gimmick.

    These new series reminds me of film sequels. The success of the first was story and originality, but then the follow-ups are just what they think will sell, by catering to this and this marketing group, and it all ends up being uninteresting and generic wash-outs.

    1. Well said. In the US we call it pandering. If women arent into racing(watching or participating in), theyre not into it. No reason to fight it.

      But i guess if they like throwing away money, to force female assimilation into motorsports, thats fine i guess. Fool and his money and all…

      It takes a life dedicated to racing from a young age, above average skills, personal drive, financial backing, and luck to make it in formula1, the fact that there hasnt been a female driver tick each of those boxes (and potentially more i dont know about) isnt surprising, considering how few females take interest in auto racing. Insinuating, that the next female lewis hamilton is right around the corner, is disrespectful to men who actually CAN race, and have been perfecting their skills for the last 20 years on 4 wheels… Just compare resume/cv’s for W series, vs even say, Lance stroll. No comparison. THATS WHY the skillset is so drastically differant. Not because us men are sexist.

      Its sad to see them bring out Michelle mouton, as a token women driver to support the series. Mouton competed with the boys, she didnt need a little girls league to whoop ass. What she’s saying now, is the skill set is so drastically differant, they need their own little girl league, because obviously they cant compete with the average Formula2 driver, let alone, F1….. Its sad, really.

  8. The inaugural W-Series championship last year was a bit of a joke as in order to make up the grid numbers, they invited many women who’s racing CV’s were at best lackluster, or at worst near non-existent. Predictably, they spent all season floundering around at the back, and sometimes even into each other (not because they’re girls, get your head out the gutter). I foresee a similar issue befalling Extreme-E. Mixed teams, or even all female teams, definitely should have been encouraged; but they shouldn’t have been made a ruling. Not yet, anyway.

    1. Though I agree with you on the level shown by the W series in its inaugural year it was fair racing nonetheless, and sometimes quite nice actually. And there must be a start at some point, I see no harm in trying. With more years of existence it will surely become even better, let’s wait and see I’d say.

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