Electric rivals to Formula 1 join forces

Formula E will become a minority investor in the offroad Extreme E competition but remain independent

The Extreme E racing series will start in 2021
The Extreme E racing series will start in 2021

Rivals to Formula 1 have joined forces as they attempt to lure fans and sponsors to their electric racing series. 

Formula E has taken a minority stake in Extreme E, the off-road racing competition that counts F1 champion Lewis Hamilton as a team owner. 

Extreme E said the two companies will remain independent but forge a strategic alliance, with Formula E boss Jamie Reigle taking a seat on Extreme E's board.

Extreme E is poised to begin in January, with SUV races taking place throughout the year in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

The series is backed by its chief executive Alejandor Agag and Chinese investors CMC and SECA.

Lewis Hamilton, the Formual One world champion who is launching an Extreme E team

The series has secured a broadcasting deal with BBC Sport in March to screen races on BBC iPlayer and has been in talks with Netflix over a documentary series.

Mr Agag is also the founder and chairman of Formula E, the electric racing series backed by a consortium of investors including Discovery Communications and John Malone's Liberty Global. 

"It has always been my intention to have Formula E and Extreme E working closely together, spreading the message of electrification, environment and equality," he said. 

"The two series are very different but have a shared purpose as they fight alongside one another to counteract climate change."

Nico Rosberg, the 2016 F1 champion,  announced last month that he will also launch an Extreme E team. 

Formula E and Extreme E are seen as challengers to F1, which is attempting to shake-off its gas-guzzling image by going carbon neutral by 2030.