During an interview with media ahead of the Arctic X Prix, Extreme E CEO Alejandro Agag shared his thoughts on the direction of the series and his plans for the near future — especially regarding the final race of the season and the return of the series for 2022.
“This was the first venue I wanted to go to,” Agag said in reference to Greenland before then sharing that he initially found it by scrolling around on Google Maps. He wanted to race in Greenland but had no idea where it would be logistically possible, since Extreme E necessitates a nearby body of water for the St. Helena ship, an airport with a long runway for international media, and a nearby glacier. That brought him to Kangerlussuaq.
And next year, Agag wants to return.
“You see where the ice is, and then you see where the ice was,” he said, referring to the scarred landscape in which the race is taking place.
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He shared that his intention is to maintain the five-race schedule for Extreme E into 2022, with three races carrying over from 2022 and two brand-new events to showcase climate change in other landscapes. Agag also confirmed that he intends Saudi Arabia to once again open the series — albeit at a different location — and that Greenland will return in July of next year.
The intention there is not only to facilitate the ease of planning, which has been a bit hectic in 2021 due to a very changeable COVID-ridden world, but to continue building on the sport’s legacy programs that have been started this year. Extreme E will then hopefully establish a meaningful relationship with the countries it visits, providing it with a substantial opportunity for extended study and change.
All that talk about next year brought us to the plans for next year, which are just about solidified. The calendar is ready to be announced, and it also sounds like Brazil will feature somewhere in that schedule, as well. Agag mentioned that there will be no planned European round for 2022.
That leaves one last gap: this season’s final event. The last two events of the year were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, and Agag has helped Extreme E schedule the next event in Sardinia. But that final location for a December race still remains up for grabs.
Agag has narrowed it down to three options: Morocco, Egypt, or Greece, where forest fires have currently been raging. With COVID-19 descriptions, it’s still up for debate which venue will eventually be selected, but the final date should be cemented soon.
As far as the teams go, Agag also confirmed that he’s been in talks with four or five different manufacturers that have expressed interest in the series. Again, nothing is confirmed, but the current belief within the series is that this race will be the tipping point for those interested teams.