Nico Rosberg’s team won the first race of the new electric off-road category Extreme E, in Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, while Lewis Hamilton’s team had problems and finished third in a race fought under a cloud of dust.
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Rosberg, Formula One champion in 2016 who retired from the tracks, went to Al Ula to celebrate his victory in the Desert X Prix with three-time world rally champion Johan Kristoffersson from Sweden and Australian rally driver Molly Taylor.
Andretti United, led by Michael Andretti and McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown, came in second in the three-car final, with Sweden’s Timmy Hansen and the UK’s Catie Munnings.
Hamilton’s team, made up of nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb, from France, and Spaniard Cristina Gutierrez, had been the fastest in qualifying on Saturday, but suffered driving problems in the race.
The seven times F1 world champion Hamilton, who did not attend the event, sent a message of good luck on Instagram before the race.
2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button finished sixth after his JBXE team failed to reach the final, while three-time Rally champion Dakar Carlos Sainz was fourth.
Extreme E aims to highlight climate change and promote sustainability by competing in remote parts of the world affected by global warming or suffering environmental damage.
There are five stages ranging from locations in the Arctic to the Amazon, and each team must have a male and a female driver.
The next race is in Senegal, in May.