Ex-F1 champion Rosberg to rekindle rivalry with Hamilton in Extreme E

London (AFP) –


Ex-Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg is launching a team in the Extreme E series -- meaning he will be locking horns again with Lewis Hamilton, organisers have announced.

The Germany-born driver's Rosberg Xtreme Racing (RXR) will go head to head with Hamilton's X44 team in the new electric off-road racing competition, which aims to shed light on environmental issues.

Competitors in Extreme E will race electric vehicles in five remote locations -- arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier, and coastal -- that are already damaged or at risk from climate change.

Extreme E is scheduled to begin in January 2021. Electric SUVs will race in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil, with each race being held across two days.

To minimise environmental impact, they will not be open to spectators and the command centre for the championship series will be a ship, modified to minimise emissions.

Rosberg, who retired from Formula One shortly after being crowned world champion in 2016, said Extreme E was the perfect competition to highlight his belief in sustainable technologies.

Last year he founded the Greentech Festival, which showcases green technologies. He was also an early investor the all-electric racing series Formula E.

"The series represents an amazing opportunity to inspire action in the fight against climate change -- the single biggest threat to our planet today," said Rosberg, 35.

"Since retiring from F1 I have dedicated my career to sustainable technologies, so to be able to combine these endeavours with my passion for racing is incredibly fulfilling."

"We are ecstatic," said Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. "We have been talking about this project for many months and we are thrilled he has chosen Extreme E for his formal return to motorsport."

Rosberg and Hamilton enjoyed a fierce rivalry when they were team-mates at Mercedes. The British driver won the 2014 and 2015 F1 titles before Rosberg broke the run.

Six-time F1 world champion Hamilton announced last month he would be entering a team in Extreme E, although he will not be driving or involved in the day-to-day operation of his X44 outfit, named after his car number at Mercedes.