It is still mathematically possible for the 2022 champions to retain their Extreme E crown at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix in Chile next month. Although Sir Lewis Hamilton’s outfit will need much to fall in their favour, two victories so far this season show that X44 Vida Carbon Racing still have that winning habit.
In the first of our five spotlights analysing our 2023 title contenders, we look back on X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s performance across Season 3 and how they remain in the championship picture heading to the finale in Chile.
X44 Vida Carbon Racing kicked off its 2023 Extreme E season with a revamped driver line-up, featuring the addition of Jamaican racer Fraser McConnell alongside resident driver and reigning Extreme E Champion, Cristina Gutiérrez. McConnell had debuted in the series at the Season 2 finale for Jenson’s Button’s JBXE after a stint as Championship Driver, and replaced Sebastien Loeb at the team.
With pressure to defend their championship title, Gutiérrez and McConnell started the 2023 Extreme E season in NEOM with undisputed pace. Both drivers posted impressive qualifying times for Round 1 and took a Heat victory but, in the end, it was not to be X44’s weekend. Technical issues prevented the duo from securing a podium spot across the weekend and, as a result, X44 Vida Carbon Racing left the Desert X Prix with only 23 points overall and a lot of work ahead after finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
The tables seemed to be turning, though, as the series headed to Scotland for the Hydro X Prix for Rounds 3 and 4. Their strong Qualifying pace was retained in the opening race, ensuring their second Grand Final Appearance of the season.
Gutiérrez crossed the line in second place, but further reward was to follow as a penalty for the on-course winners, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, led to a first win of Season 3 for X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and McConnell’s maiden visit to the top step of the podium.
If it seemed that their first win of the campaign would kickstart X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s season, the next four rounds would be beset by issues that left their championship hopes hanging by a thread.
A ninth-place finish in the remaining round of the Hydro X Prix stalled their progress, while back-to-back eighth-place finishes in the series’ first visit to Sardinia in 2023 left them off the pace of the leading pack.
Nevertheless, their respectable showing from the opening three rounds ensured Sir Lewis Hamilton’s outfit remained in the top five of the Extreme E leaderboard.
It initially looked like X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s bad luck would continue when the series returned to Sardinia for Island X Prix II in September.
An eighth-place in Round 7 of the season left them with plenty of work to do, but come Round 8 the sun was shining on Gutiérrez and McConnell once more.
A feisty drive from the Jamaican in the Grand Final, passing Rosberg X Racing’s (RXR) Johan Kristoffersson, set the tone and that fast start would prove decisive. Gutiérrez kept her cool when taking over the reigns after the driver change, heading home RXR’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky to take the team’s second win of 2023.
It would take a number of results to fall in their favour at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix, but having come from behind in last year’s title battle X44 Vida Carbon Racing should not be discounted in the Season 3 finale.
Nevertheless, with a 52-point deficit to leaders ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team it will take a huge swing in fortune to secure back-to-back championships.
The team have proven pedigree in South America, and took the win when the series made its debut in the Atacama Desert in 2022 and will be looking to add to their two visits to the podium at the title decider next month.
The crowning of the 2023 champions will be live across ITV and STV in the UK, while outside of the UK please visit here for broadcaster details.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com
About Extreme E:
Now heading into its third season, Extreme E is a radical off-road racing series, founded by the same team behind Formula E, which showcases electric SUVs and futuristic technologies in some of the world’s most remote and challenging environments.
This five-event global voyage utilises its sporting platform for the purpose of promoting electrification, environment and equality. The series’ goal is to highlight the impact of climate change in some of the world’s most endangered environments, promote the adoption of electric vehicles to pave the way for a lower carbon future, and provide a world-first gender-equal motorsport platform.
The first sport to ever be built out of a social purpose, Extreme E aims to minimise environmental impact while maximising awareness, racing in places that have already been damaged or affected by climate change or human interference and taking fans deep into the heart of the most pressing issues facing our planet’s future.
Not only that, but Extreme E is also helping the car industry to develop future-facing technology using racing as a platform for road innovation, which accelerates change ten-fold.
Season 3 Calendar
Saudi Arabia: 11-12 March 2023
Scotland, UK: 13-14 May 2023
Sardinia, Italy: 08-09 July 2023
Sardinia, Italy: 16-17 September 2023
Chile: 02-03 December 2023
About Continental Tires: Founding Partner and Official Tire Partner
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Continental generated preliminary sales of €37.7 billion in 2020 and currently employs more than 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
The Tires business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tire manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted preliminary sales of €10.2 billion in 2020 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tires business area includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires.
About Enel X Way: Official Smart Charging Partner
Enel X Way is the Enel Group’s company fully dedicated to electric mobility. With around 25,000 managed public charging points, Enel X Way operates in 16 countries, both directly and through joint ventures such as Ewiva in Italy and Chargeway in India. As a global platform for e-Mobility, the company is focused on developing flexible charging technologies and solutions to improve the customer experience and to enable the electrification of transport for consumers, businesses, cities and public administrations.
LinkedIn: Enel X Way
About Zenith: Official Timekeeper and Founding Partner
Zenith exists to inspire individuals to pursue their dreams and make them come true – against all odds. Since its establishment in 1865, Zenith became the first watch manufacture in the modern sense of the term, and its watches have accompanied extraordinary figures that dreamt big and strived to achieve the impossible – from Louis Blériot’s history-making flight across the English Channel to Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting stratospheric free-fall jump. Zenith is also highlighting visionary and trailblazing women – past and present – by celebrating their accomplishments and creating in 2020 its first-ever collection dedicated entirely to them, Defy Midnight.
With innovation as its guiding star, Zenith features exceptional in-house developed and manufactured movements in all its watches. Since the creation of the El Primero in 1969, the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, Zenith has gone on to master fractions of the second with the Chronomaster Sport and its 1/10th of a second precision and the DEFY 21 with a precision of 1/100th of a second.
About ENOWA: Official Green Hydrogen Partner
About ENOWA: ENOWA is a world-class energy, water and hydrogen company founded in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. ENOWA produces and delivers clean and sustainable resources for industrial and commercial applications using a customer-centric smart and connected system, designed to be circular and takes advantage of NEOM’s optimal solar and wind energy profile. ENOWA benefits from NEOM’s greenfield site, which has no legacy infrastructure, to advance Energy, Water, and Hydrogen innovation.
ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally. Through its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, ENOWA seeks to become a global reference for industry leaders and setting a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems around the world.
For more information, please visit enowa.neom.com
About Vodafone Business: Official Technology and Communication Partner
With expertise in connectivity, global scale and the leading IoT platform, Vodafone Business is a leading technology communications company helping organisations succeed in a digital world and keeping society connected. Vodafone’s purpose is to connect for a better future, enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society, and many of its solutions have sustainability and inclusivity embedded.
Unique in its scale as the largest pan-European and African technology communications company, Vodafone transforms the way we live and work through its innovation, technology, connectivity, platforms, products and services. Vodafone operates mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries, and partners with mobile networks in 52 more. As of 31 December 2021, they had over 300m mobile customers, more than 28m fixed broadband customers and over 22m TV customers.
This collaboration will see Vodafone Business leading innovations and capabilities such as 5G, MPN, IOT and MEC, integrated into Extreme E’s global operations and will include full involvement in the purpose- driven elements of the series, with special prominence on Extreme E’s Legacy Programmes and the Science Laboratory on board the St Helena.Through its IOT solutions, Vodafone Business is helping sustainability efforts, including agriculture, forestation and decarbonisation of energy grids.
Find out more on http://www.Vodafone.com/business and follow Vodafone on its social media channels:
About EY: Official Sustainability Partner
EY is a global leader in assurance, consulting, strategy, transactions and tax services, and already plays a significant role in working with Extreme E. Originally announcing its collaboration with the championship back in 2020, EY came on board to help Extreme E achieve its commitment to minimising its overall footprint whilst creating a positive legacy.
Whilst Extreme E strives ‘to race without a trace’, the framework provided by EY has helped the series to minimize its environmental impact across each of its remote race locations. Both prior and post-racing impact assessments have supported Extreme E to strategically plan their actions within these areas.
EY and Extreme E will work closely together to promote the five pillars of Extreme E (or “Five Es”) through the adoption of ‘XE Talks’. These informative presentations, facilitated by Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, will shed light on the Five Es, showcasing the joint commitment of EY and Extreme E.
About CBMM: Founding Supplier
CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.
About Kaizen Clean Energy: Official Clean Energy Technology Provider
Kaizen Clean Energy (KCE), a manufacturer of hydrogen generators, is developing integrated solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging, hydrogen fuelling, and distributed power for the grid and critical assets.
KCE offers its mobile microgrid to customers through an Energy as a Service contract, which eliminates large capital expenses and provides customers with the flexibility to scale with energy needs over time.
Kaizen Clean Energy will support ENOWA – NEOM’s energy, water, and hydrogen subsidiary and Green Hydrogen Power Partner to Extreme E – in delivering a pioneering hydrogen microgrid solution to the championship.
Find out more on: www.kaizencleanenergy.com.
About ALLCOT: Official Environmental Contribution Partner
Guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, ALLCOT works together with communities, organizations, and governments worldwide in climate actions, to accelerate the transition to Net Zero. ALLCOT develops Climate action through projects and solutions with triple impact: environmental, social, and economic, using four strategies:
Sustainability strategies: Innovative, comprehensive, and tailored solutions for businesses to reduce and compensate greenhouse gas emissions and measures the socio-economic co-benefits through the SDGs.
Project development & implementation: Implementation of carbon projects in developing countries, rooted in community engagement, environmental stewardship, and economic viability, driven by integrity, equity, and transparency.
Capacity building: Providing individuals and communities with practical skills and knowledge, possible to apply in their daily lives.
Advocacy: Creating systemic change to work closely with policymakers and stakeholders to promote sustainable policies and practices at the local, national, and international levels.
Find out more on: www.allcot.com