As a Black-owned team, X44 Vida Carbon Racing recognises that motorsport has traditionally been dominated by a narrow demographic, an issue that team owner Sir Lewis Hamilton has long been dedicated to addressing through The Hamilton Commission, his research project in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, and his charitable foundation Mission44.
Off the back of their Extreme E Season 2 Championship win, his race team X44 Vida Carbon Racing now heads into Season 3 of the series with a renewed focus on breaking down these barriers and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment within the sport. With this new focus, X44 Vida Carbon Racing hopes to inspire a new generation of drivers and fans to become involved in motorsport and push the industry forward, ensuring it is more reflective of the world we live in. Ultimately, the team believes that better diversity and inclusion is the only path towards the long-term success of the sport, with the most talented people chosen for the job, no matter their background.
To achieve these goals, X44 Vida Carbon Racing is taking a holistic look at how the team can create a more diverse and inclusive environment in motorsport by placing opportunity as its top priority.
Initial commitments include:
Sir Lewis Hamilton, X44 Vida Carbon Racing owner and seven-time Formula 1™ World Champion, said:
“I’m so proud of the incredible work that my team has undertaken so far in Extreme E, and I can’t wait for us to take it to the next level this year.
"We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that the motorsport industry is an incredibly difficult place to break into, and I hope that X44 Vida Carbon Racing can be a powerful platform to provide opportunities to the next generation. It has never been more important that we, as an industry, take real action to move our sport forward, and X44 Vida Carbon’s new direction is one of the ways I am committing to making that genuine change.”
The new reset will be undertaken in partnership with Rodin Carlin, a name synonymous with rising talent and racing excellence. The team has been winning races and developing motorsport talent across various categories for over 20 years, with their race winning heritage set in British F3, where the team established their foundations in the late 1990s.
Since then, victories in championships such as Formula 2, Formula Renault 3.5, British F4, FIAF3 European Championship, GP3 Series, Indy Lights and even Asian Le Mans Series have cemented the team’s winning reputation. This history of developing talent and younger drivers made Rodin Carlin the ideal partners to join X44 Vida Carbon Racing on their journey as a team that prioritises opportunity, and the next generation.
Stephanie Carlin, X44 Vida Carbon Racing Team Principal, said:
"At Rodin Carlin, we are so excited to join forces with X44 Vida Carbon Racing and I am proud to be leading such an inclusive and diverse team into Season 3 of the series. As fits with our ethos at Rodin Carlin, it is a privilege to be able to provide opportunities for up-and-coming engineers, mechanics and technicians, who we believe are truly the next generation of promising talent in our industry."
X44 Vida Carbon are also excited to announce a refreshed driver line up, with up-and-coming Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell joining the team. Fraser, winner of the 2019 American Rallycross Championship, is the most competitively successful Jamaican driver in the history of international rallycross racing.
Making his rallycross debut in 2018, competing in North America’s ARX2 series, he recorded the fastest-out-of-the-box time in his first race and went on to win all of his heat races, starting his first finals in pole position. His maiden international racing campaign came just one year later, with Olsbergs MSE in the FIA RX2 Championship, where he finished 4th among the World’s best young rallycross drivers. In 2021, Fraser graduated to the supercar class and became the first and only Jamaican to claim a supercar victory in the Rally X Nordic Championship, going on to debut in the Nitro Rallycross Series later that year. Fraser will be joined by current X44 Vida Carbon
Racing driver and reigning Extreme E champion Cristina Gutiérrez for the 2023 season. Gifted Spanish driver Cristina is a promising talent who is rewriting the rulebook for female drivers. Cristina has made history as the first woman to ever win the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, the second to win a stage in the Dakar Rally (2021) and the third to stand on a podium in the Dakar Rally (2022).
Fraser McConnell, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, said:
"I am delighted to join X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and to be part of a Championship-winning team. I am so impressed with Cristina’s performances in the first two seasons of Extreme E and I can’t wait to drive alongside her; I am sure that we will work well together and I hope to learn a lot from her prior experience. It’s never a bad thing to race alongside a World Champion!
“I’m also looking forward to being part of a team that uses its platform to make the world a better place. I have always admired Lewis’s dedication to making our sport more inclusive and opening up opportunities for young talent, and I’m honoured to be part of that journey with him.”
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, said:
“Following last season’s win, I am so excited to get back on track and give it my all again for the team. Fraser is an exciting young talent and I am looking forward to racing with him this year. I’m also looking forward to meeting the new team, and I feel privileged to be part of the journey towards a fairer, more inclusive industry. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”
Season 3 of the racing series will continue to see the team race at some of the most remote corners of the planet, to highlight the range of climate issues faced by different ecosystems. The sport for purpose championship continues on its voyage this weekend (11-12 March), as Season 3 opens with the Desert X Prix in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.