One of Red Bull Racing’s F1 drivers is entering the realm of team ownership. 12-season F1 veteran Sergio Pérez will enter a team into the newly-created UIM E1 World Championship, an electric powerboat racing series. Sergio Pérez’s Team Mexico will occupy one of 12 team slots on the E1 grid, with both of the team’s two yet-to-be-announced pilots hailing from Mexico.
As the prefixed initialism implies, the UIM E1 World Championship is the first electric championship sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the world governing body for powerboating. E1 will feature a field of hydrofoiling single-seat race boats powered by a 150-kilowatt (roughly 200-horsepower) electric outboard motor capable of propelling the craft to speeds up to 50 knots (around 58 mph).
The unique electric championship was co-founded by Alejandro Agag, who also co-founded the FIA Formula E World Championship and Extreme E. Before his time launching almost every electric racing championship under the sun, Agag was the owner and team principal of the Barwa Addax team in the GP2 Series, a Formula 1 feeder league. Sergio Pérez raced for Barwa Addax in the 2010 GP2 season, where he finished runner-up in the championship and paved the way for his F1 debut with Sauber the next year.
In a statement, Pérez said:
Given my relationship with Alejandro [Agag], I’ve kept a close eye on what he’s been doing and his various championships, and I think what he’s achieved with promoting more sustainable forms of motorsport is commendable. Seeing a racing team flying the flag for Mexico on a global stage will be amazing and I cannot wait to watch the RaceBird in action for the first time. I’ve heard lots of positive stories about the boat and the exciting sporting product E1 is trying to create for fans with city events.
Alejandro Agag added:
Me and Checo have remained close friends since working together during our days in GP2, where Checo drove for my team. In a funny way, it feels a bit like things have come full circle, with me hiring him as a driver and now Sergio entering a team of his own in E1.
Pérez isn’t the first current or former Formula 1 driver to become a team owner in an Agag-created electric racing series. Jarno Trulli fielded and drove for his own team in the inaugural 2014-15 season of the FIA Formula E Championship. Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Button all field separate teams in Extreme E, an electric off-road racing championship. Only time will tell how successful E1 and Team Mexico will be.