Extreme E is a brand-new motorsport series involving all-electric 4x4 vehicles racing off-road in locations around the world.

The 2021 season kicks off this weekend with the Desert XPrix, on 3 & 4 April in Saudi Arabia. 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.

When is the first Extreme E race on?

Saturday 3 April

All times are British Summer Time.

  • Qualifying 1: 7am 
  • Qualifying 2: 12pm

Sunday 4 April

  • Semi-Final 1 & 2: 7-8.30am
  • The Final: 11am

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

Unlike other racing series, it should be well worth watching the qualifying as it's not against the clock: it's wheel-to-wheel racing.

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 iPlayer
  • 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.

How to watch Extreme E

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 should also be available on iPlayer and ITV Hub.

Watching Extreme E on UK services such as these 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?

Unlike other series, the racing is held across both days of the events with four races on Saturday – both qualifying rounds, but held as races.

In Qualifying Round 1, five cars will race, and then the remaining four in Qualifying Round 2.

Starting positions are drawn by lottery, but points scored in these rounds determine the starting places in Qualifying Round 2.

Three races are held on Sunday:

  • Semi-Final 1
  • Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race)
  • The Final

The top three teams from Semi-Final 1 and the first and second placed teams from Semi-Final 2 qualify for the Final.

Amazingly, their starting positions for the final race will be decided by fans through the GridPlay voting system.

And there will be a standby team available for the final: the team that came fourth in Semi-Final 1.

Each driver will race one lap with a changeover – called the ‘Switch’  - allowing the other driver from the team to 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:

When

Where

Host nation

Environment

3-4 April

Sharaan, AlUla

Saudi Arabia

Desert

29-30 May

Lac Rose

Senegal

Ocean

28-29 August

Kangerlussuaq, Russell Glacier

Greenland

Arctic

23-24 October

Santarém, Pará

Brazil

Amazon

11-12 December

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego

Argentina

Glacier

Extreme E teams & drivers

Here’s the full lineup of Extreme E teams and their drivers:

Abt Cupra XE (Germany)

  • Mattias Ekström
  • Claudia Hürtgen

Acciona Sainz XE Team (Spain)

  • Carlos Sainz Snr
  • Laia Sanz

Andretti United Extreme E (USA)

  • Timmy Hansen
  • Catie Munnings

Chip Ganassi Racing (USA)

  • Sara Price
  • Kyle LeDuc

Hispano-Suiza Xite Energy Team (Spain)

  • Oliver Bennett
  • Christine Giampaoli Zonca

JBXE (United Kingdom)

  • Jenson Button
  • Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky

Rosberg Xtreme Racing (Germany)

  • Johan Kristoffersson
  • Molly Taylor

Veloce Racing (United Kingdom)

  • Jamie Chadwick
  • Stéphane Sarrazin

Team X44 (United Kingdom)

  • Sébastien Loeb
  • Cristina Gutiérrez

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