Alejandro Agag laughs in his smooth and charming method when I read out a quote which recommends that, as the creator and chairman of Formula E and the driving force behind Extreme E, the new environmentally mindful motor sport venture, he is more detailed in spirit to Alan Sugar than Greta Thunberg. Agag suggests that Extreme E will raise awareness of biodiversity loss in Dorset along with the sporting drama of whether Hamiltons group, X44, can catch Rosbergs drivers.Extreme E is the first sporting entity to place the environment emergency situation at its heart. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PAAll this makes it even more disappointing that, in April, Agag staged the first Extreme E race in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, Agag and his colleagues were silent about the abuse of human rights.Alejandro Agag (sixth left) and the Extreme E chauffeurs at the season-opening race in Saudi Arabia. Severe E and Formula E were the only sporting bodies at Cop26.
Alejandro Agag laughs in his smooth and charming method when I read out a quote which recommends that, as the creator and chairman of Formula E and the driving force behind Extreme E, the new ecologically conscious motor sport endeavor, he is more detailed in spirit to Alan Sugar than Greta Thunberg.” I will soon ask Agag why his many laudable aspirations are connected to sportswashing in Saudi Arabia, however it appears proper to focus at first on Extreme E as it reaches the climax of its inaugural season in Dorset this weekend. Teams developed by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are in a fight to win the champion in a field which includes a clothing run by a 3rd former Formula One world champ in Jenson Button.Alejandro Agag, founder and chairman of Formula E and the driving force behind Extreme E. Photograph: Filip Gierlinski” It was not challenging to attract them,” Agag states of Hamilton, Rosberg and Button.
Agag has the charisma to draw substantial figures into a type of motor sport which, he states, “is special since Extreme E is a race which leaves no trace”. Apart from intending to showcase Extreme E in places which have been harmed by the climate crisis, their electric vehicles make absolutely no emissions. Without any crowds, as events are televised and audience engagement is online, the carbon footprint of each race is negligible.But establishing a brand-new sport in the midst of a worldwide pandemic has actually stretched the 51-year-old Spaniard. A previous political leader, who at the age of 25 was the individual assistant to the Spanish prime minister, Agag admits: “Its been a larger obstacle than starting Formula E [in 2014] Im combating every day to survive. Its extremely tough because sponsors are more cautious and executing the race is so complicated. In some places we need a million tests, a million forms, a million regulations.” In Greenland we just got the licenses to travel one day in the past and we already had millions and countless euros of expense there. We were asking to be allowed. I didnt want to go through that again. I said: Lets wait Covid out and find places where we make certain we can race. The majority of my day is spent putting fires out.”
This last race of the season was implied to be held in Patagonia, with the cars and trucks shipped rather than flown throughout the world, however Covid required a switch to Dorset. Agag recommends that Extreme E will raise awareness of biodiversity loss in Dorset alongside the sporting drama of whether Hamiltons team, X44, can catch Rosbergs drivers.Extreme E is the first sporting entity to position the climate emergency at its heart. This worthy mission is deepened by the reality that every group features female and male chauffeurs. Jamie Chadwick, the 23-year-old British motorist who recently won her 2nd W Series, races versus guys of the calibre of Sébastien Loeb, the nine-times world rally champion who is part of Hamiltons team.Jamie Chadwick is part of the Veloce Racing team, envisioned during the Extreme E totally free practice in Dorset. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PAAll this makes it much more disappointing that, in April, Agag staged the very first Extreme E race in Saudi Arabia. The next races were held in Senegal and Greenland however the reliability of his entire endeavor was tainted by a decision to gloss over Saudis human rights record in favour of huge financial benefits. What message did he provide female drivers such as Chadwick, and females in general, by accepting Saudis invitation?Nico Rosberg: To do excellent you need to go out there, you cant sit in a cave” Im a huge supporter of Saudi, of the current Saudi change, and I constantly state nobodys perfect,” Agag says. “But in Saudi theyre making big modifications in favour of females. , if you ask Saudi ladies how they feel about the modifications happening in their nation they are absolutely passionate.. The situation is not as we would like it in Europe however its certainly a big modification. Look, for instance, at the fact females can drive now.”
” Extreme E emphasises the importance of education and speaking out versus the environment crisis. In Saudi, Agag and his coworkers were silent about the abuse of human rights.Alejandro Agag (sixth left) and the Extreme E motorists at the season-opening race in Saudi Arabia.” How much did Saudi Arabia pay Extreme E to host their event?
There are likewise public beheadings in Saudi– where feminism and homosexuality are considered “extreme” and inappropriate. Does Agag have no misgivings in accepting cash from Saudi? “It wasnt even monetary. If I didnt believe the present program is altering positively, most likely we would not go to Saudi. For me, those young Saudis saying: We never in our life thought we could dance in the streets in Saudi makes it beneficial. Were not going to assist them if we separate them.” Go to Saudi and then we have the discussion again. I welcome you to the race [next month] When I had my speech in Saudi I had 5,000 women praising me, with Formula E. Go talk to young Saudis in the streets …. Im not apologising. I am doing precisely what I wish to do, which is to help alter in Saudi.” Saudi Arabia is the worlds greatest producer of fossil fuels but Agag repeats his “practical method to environmentalism. We need an organised transition out of the fossil world and this needs lots of cash. Who has the money? The big corporations. BP, Shell, Aramco. The Saudis. We need a clear decision to go towards that transition– and we need to consist of everyone. That indicates the oil companies and the oil-polluting states as long as they devote to the change.” Agag admits to being “puzzled” by Mercedess choice to leave Formula E at the end of next year in a technique which follows the withdrawal of Audi and BMW. Mercedes remain committed to Formula One however they will cut ties with Formula E and focus their resources on establishing their electric automobile for mass production.Cars retreat at the start of the Arctic X-Prix race at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland in August. Photograph: Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images/Shutterstock” On the other hand,” he says, “we have terrific brand names being available in that we will reveal soon in Formula E. We still have Porsche and Jaguar and Nissan and other big producers on board. Because its very strong, I do not need to put out any fires in Formula E.” Agag has ambitious strategies to forge a bond with F1 which he knows is “in a wonderful position” after the captivating season-long fight in between Hamilton and Max Verstappen. “Im the just one to state this up until now however, for me, the future is some type of merging with Formula One and Formula E. We would still have separate champions but perhaps we do some races together– possibly Monaco, Abu Dhabi, Miami? Maybe Saturday Formula E, Sunday Formula One? Why not?” Has be broached the possibility with F1? “We discuss it all the time.” Perhaps F1 feels it does not need Formula E? “There are different viewpoints within Formula One. Lets leave it at that.” That wily political leaders response chimes with Agags personal life. Having actually married the child of his old boss, the previous Spanish prime minister José María Aznar, Agag had Silvio Berlusconi and Tony Blair as witnesses at his wedding. He likewise as soon as part-owned QPR in a consortium which included his old buddy Bernie Ecclestone. Agag laughs when I say his friends, and the Saudis, all need a few of his positive spin. “Im likewise friends with great deals of individuals who have a really excellent image.”
Extreme E and Formula E were the only sporting bodies at Cop26. In terms of Extreme Es present position, Agag concurs that “we still have lots of work to do. If she thinks in Extreme E then everybody need to think in us.
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Automobile racing with teams established by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has honorable goals but likewise stages races in Saudi Arabia