The long awaited debut of Extreme E finally hit our screens last weekend, as we watched the incredible entertainment unfold and it absolutely lived up to the hype! There's absolutely no argument that shifting motorsport towards efficiency and electric vehicles was inevitable, but this new motorsport's goal of attracting attention certainly succeeded - albeit not in the way the organisers probably hoped it would.
Of course, this event was not to be without it's hiccups. Heading to the Saudi Arabian Desert for your first event, was always destined to come with challenges, mainly weather dependent as always with the risk of sand storms and the excessive heat combining to create issues. But this was overshadowed by the unfiltered thrills of watching these racing buggies thrash through the circuit at high speeds.
In the end it was Nico Rosberg's team that took home the inaugural race honours with his Formula 1 rival Lewis Hamilton's team finishing a close second! There's no doubt that the format of the races, the engineering showcase and the thrills of the event were superb. They absolutely provided an adrenaline rush for anyone watching and certainly kept us entertained throughout, however, there was an overarching theme that seemed to not sit quite right with much of the audience.
Firstly, this is a forward thinking venture trying to attract eyes to the open-mindedness of Formula E, and its progressive nature towards climate change. To then show footage of a cargo ship that burns through diesel faster than almost all Formula vehicles combined shipping the off-road buggies across the sea seems counter intuitive?
Couple this alongside the fact that the races are taking place in some of the most harshly affected areas of climate change just makes the entire format seem pointless. The harsh nature of the races on a vastly broken desert is just blatant and shows a disregard for the effects of humans on the planet. Furthermore, the fact that they are also going to other areas of endangered landscapes just showcases more negativity than positivity.
The entire series is supposed to be based around sustainability and to be quite frank, it's looking less and less sustainable and we're at Week 1! We certainly don't think that Extreme E has had the initial desired effect it has wanted, the rigorous travelling during a time whereby in doing so creates heavy scrutiny really shines a light on the overarching takeaways from what is seemingly an incredibly entertaining sport.
Once the season has finished, we're sure we will see the statistics of how much positivity this event has contributed to global change and sustainability, but right now, we're extremely sceptical and in our minds, for good reason! More, as they say, to follow in further weeks...