Nico Rosberg has formed his own Rosberg Xtreme Racing team to compete in the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021 against ex-Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
RXR is a development of Team Rosberg, founded by Nico’s 1982 F1 championship-winning father Keke, that runs Audi RS5 Turbo drivers Rene Rast and Jamie Green in the DTM.
Two-time champion Rast leads the points after his four consecutive Zolder wins, but Team Rosberg faces an uncertain future in the series with Audi set to exit at the end of the season.
Since retiring from F1 as the reigning champion at the end of 2016, Rosberg has been active in the field of sustainability, and is an investor and stakeholder in Formula E.
Speaking of his team’s entry into the all-electric XE off-road SUV racing championship, Rosberg said: “We are thrilled to unveil Rosberg Xtreme Racing as the latest addition to Extreme E.
“The series represents an amazing opportunity to not only drive awareness but also inspire action in the fight against climate change – the single biggest threat to our planet today.
“Since retiring from F1 I have dedicated my career to sustainable technologies so to be able to combine these endeavours with my passion for racing is incredibly fulfilling.”
The RXR entry into XE means Rosberg will indirectly compete against Hamilton in the series, with the six-time champion establishing his own X44 squad that will focus on creating opportunities for mechanics and engineers from minority ethnic backgrounds.
It also means that the three most recent Mercedes grand prix drivers all have an association with XE, as Valtteri Bottas tested the 550bhp ODYSSEY 21 in France earlier this month.
XE founder and chief executive Alejandro Agag added: “We are ecstatic to finally announce that Rosberg Xtreme Racing will be joining our line-up for the first season of Extreme E.
“We have been talking about this project for many months and we are thrilled he has chosen Extreme E for his formal return to motorsport as founder and CEO of his own racing team.
“There is clearly a great synergy between Nico’s endeavours in the sustainability field and the aims of Extreme E so his team is a hugely welcomed addition to the series.”
Other high-profile F1 names linked with XE included former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey, who are both backers of Veloce Racing.
RXR become the ninth team lined up for the debut XE season, the start of which has been pushed back to March owing to the global health crisis.
This will coincide with formal trademark opposition proceedings in both the UK and Europe, with adventure sports company Extreme International having launched an intellectual property legal case against the series over naming rights and concept.