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Extreme E the new electric racing series

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Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso targeted for new electric off-road series with races in the Arctic, Sahara desert and the Amazon rainforest
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are being eyed for a new off-road series
Extreme E wants five races in remote locations including the Amazon rainforest
The new series, in partnership with Formula E, is spearheaded by Gil de Ferran

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are being lined up to race in a new electric off-road series.

Starting in January 2021, Extreme E aims to stage five races in remote locations such as the Arctic, the Himalayas, the Sahara desert, the Amazon rainforest and islands in the Indian Ocean. Operated in partnership with Formula E, the new series is spearheaded by Gil de Ferran.

The Brazilian mentored Alonso during his failed bid to win the Indianapolis 500 in 2017. He will do the same in May this year when Alonso tries again to win the third and final leg of motor racing's triple crown, having already won the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24-hour race.

De Ferran is sporting director of the McLaren F1 team, who Alonso left at the end of last season to compete in other series.

After winning the Daytona 24-hour race last weekend, Alonso told Racer magazine: 'My full focus is on the Indy500, but I'm trying to do something more in different disciplines that are not only circuits.

'I need to be very calm and clever with the decisions with the future. The aim is to do something unprecedented in motor sport.'

Speaking at the London launch of Extreme E on Thursday, De Ferran said: 'I was texting him (Alonso) about it this morning.

'Fernando would certainly add a lot. He's very famous, he's fun, he's a great driver and it would be great to have someone of his notoriety and character in our event.

'This appeals to those that love challenges, have a sense of adventure and an environmental conscience.

'It would be great to have Lewis Hamilton participate, race and be part of this adventure too. Drivers like that would add a lot.'

Extreme E will use electric SUVs (sports utility vehicles) for the stages, which will be up to 10 kilometres in length and broadcast as a documentary-style series.

'Extreme E offers a unique sport, adventure and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before,' said De Ferran.

'Viewers can expect a completely new way of consuming sport, with each episode telling not just the story of a race, but the need to protect these remote environments.'

Fisher Stevens, the Academy Award-winning artistic director, will lead the filming of the venture which he described as 'Blue Planet meets the Dakar (Rally)'.

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