Extreme E, the new racing series with electric SUVs (up to 544 hp) is racing at a military training ground in Sardinia this weekend (Sunday from 4pm at ProSieben Maxx). Sport Bild spoke in advance with founder Alejandro Agag about saving the planet, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, climate problems in Germany and the return of Queen Gotta Kleinschmidt.
Alejandro Agag, the penultimate race of season Extreme E will take place in Sardinia this weekend. The racing chain wants to put its finger on the planet’s wounds. What is your goal?
Alexander Agag (51): We want to explain what is happening on Earth and what is harming the planet. In fact, we should now be in the Amazon rainforest. We are not because of the epidemic. At the same time, we are now feeling climate change at our doorstep. So it wasn’t difficult to find an alternative site. Here in Sardinia yesterday I was where the forest burned. There I was told that the floor had previously warmed up to 70 degrees. This was the only reason why the fires started like this. Environmental problems are approaching. Even in Great Britain or Germany we have stories to tell about climate change. In this way we want to educate motorsport enthusiasts about environmental problems. Because everyone must come together so we can save the planet.
Photo: BiG Media
The final will be held in Great Britain in December: do you really want to have more racing in Europe now?
Not right. We want to go far, to the remote parts of the world that viewers don’t see every day. But now we are also planning a race in Europe. Because the interest here is greater. And as I said: We have problems on our doorstep. One such example is the recent floods in Germany. We can look up a nearby racetrack and show the world how bad the water can be.
Basically how satisfied were you with your first season?
Incredibly satisfied. Each new race is better than the last. There are still some issues to be fixed – including technical issues with the cars. However, recent comments from one of the experts were as follows: You can of course make improvements here and there. But the reason racing cars break down is the way they drive. Every car has its limits and these drivers are constantly overstepping the mark. Carlos Sainz (former rally world champion and now Extreme E-driver; editor) told me: Cars have memory. They will remember when you treated them badly. They do not always break up immediately, but usually after a few kilometers.
The tournament should also run to your liking.
Exactly: Rosberg’s team is fighting against Hamilton’s team and Andretti is getting stronger and stronger. McLaren of Formula 1 will be there next year. We have the big names from international motorsports at the top. But I’m also particularly pleased with the progress the women are making. When we started there were only a few quick ladies. Meanwhile, everyone took a huge step forward.
Photo: BiG Media
From a German point of view, Jutta Kleinschmidt was surprised to make her comeback – and she was really quick from the start!
that’s right. It’s great to see Jutta perform like this. As a Dakar winner, she is one of the legends of the sport. Plus a female legend. Right from the start, I wanted these fights to happen: big names in motorsports against young talents like Hansen or Kristofferson.
How would you like to see Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton drive their own cars?
Of course I would (laughs). But Extreme E requires a completely different driving style than what you’re used to. I saw it in Jenson Button, who first tried it out for himself. The Loebs and Sainz of this world, the off-road specialists, pass here better than the circuit stars.
You’ve already named the possible places for 2022, but you haven’t decided on five yet, but only in certain areas. why?
We are very interested and I want to negotiate with places. We are not a charity, we are a trading company. In South America I will meet with two heads of state who want to be there in the coming weeks.
What is the impact of your racing series on electric mobility on the road?
More and more electric cars are being sold around the world. Formula E made electronic cars exciting and showed that electronic cars can also be fast. But they do not jump over stones. Extreme E’s automated message is: Even someone who lives in the mountains or forests can use electric SUVs. Anyway, the images we send around the world are very powerful and frightening.
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