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What drivers had to say ahead of Desert X-Prix

The drivers in the desert. Credit: Extreme E.

At today’s press conference, the drivers were able to give their first impressions of the car and the upcoming Extreme E season. Big names such as Carlos Sainz Sr. and Jenson Button were present.

The press conference started with the CEO of Extreme E: Alejandro Agag.

He said that he wanted the series to be independent of major car manufacturers so that it became more sustainable for private teams. He was looking forward to Cupra, which is part of SEAT and in turn owned by the Volkswagen Group, and the addition of Lotus.

Agag said that it was possible that Lotus would join the series as a full manufacturer, but that they had not talked about it yet. The series was also pleased to have GM involved in the series through its Hummer brand in partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Related to that, he said Chip Ganassi Racing could be the ones to watch this weekend, despite a mechanic issue during this morning’s shakedown.

Chip Ganassi Racing team driver Sara Price said that her teammate Kyle DeLuc was safe after rolling over his Ganassi Odyssey 21 during the morning shakedown for the Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia.

The SegiTV Chip Ganassi Racing team looked extremely strong so far during the shakedown and Sara Price said the crew would have everything sorted for the next phase of track action.

For some drivers, like Sara Price who was used to this sort of terrain it was easier to adapt compared to someone like the 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button who came into Extreme E with his own team but had never competed in an off-road championship.

Button said that the Odyssey 21 machine was tricky to handle particularly as the Continental tires that were used by Extreme E. One tire compound created for all of the different surfaces will be used by the series.

Carlos Sainz was another driver at the press conference. He said that he is taking a more relaxed approach as a team owner as he began a new chapter in his career in the new all-electric SUV racing series Extreme E, which would hold its inaugural event in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Sainz, who had had plenty of rallying experience in both the FIA World Rally Championship and the Dakar Rally, said he was upset about the technical problems the team had in the morning during the shakedown, and he hoped that it would not affect qualifying on Saturday.

Timmy Hansen was also present. The Andretti United Extreme E team driver responded to a question from ASN Motorsports. Asked how much he was looking forward to a new project, he replied that he would always love the sport of rallycross and therefore would always be ready for new projects like the Extreme E. He cared a lot about the environment and was therefore very convinced of the project.

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