Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky will partner Jenson Button in the Formula 1 Champion’s JBXE team, completing the driver line-up for the inaugural Extreme E race after the Techeetah team delayed its entry.
Formula E Champion team Techeetah had initially announced its participation in the all-electric off-road series in September last year but has elected to postpone its entry as a result of global travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
An Extreme E statement said that the team “remains committed to competing in Extreme E in a later race and will update on its future competitor status in the coming weeks.”
Åhlin-Kottulinsky therefore becomes the 18th and final driver to be announced for the inaugural season, which kicks off in the Saudi Arabian city of AlUla on the opening weekend in April.
The Swede has played a key role in the development of the Extreme E car – named the Odyssey 21 – having been a test driver for the series’ founding partner Continental Tires.
“I am delighted to be joining the JBXE team alongside Jenson Button, it feels like a dream come true,” said Åhlin-Kottulinsky.
“Not only do I get to race with such a fantastic team-mate, but we both really believe in the platform of the series. Extreme E is more than just another motorsport, it is a sport for purpose which we can use to showcase electric vehicles and motivate people to rethink their views on the consequences of climate change.
“If we can make this racing series exciting, innovative and interesting to follow, the willingness to make big and small changes will grow – for the benefit of our world and everyone on the planet.”
She brings with her some fantastic experience behind the wheel and will be an asset to the teamJenson Button
Åhlin-Kottulinsky made history by becoming the first female driver to win a race in the Audi Sport TT Cup at the Norisring in 2013, before making the step up to GT racing in the ADAC GT Masters.
Since 2017, she has raced in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship with PWR Racing and was the first female race winner in STCC history following her triumph at Gelleråsen in 2018.
Although she has limited off-road competition experience, Åhlin-Kottulinsky is the granddaughter of 1980 Dakar winner Freddy Kottulinsky and the brother of former European Rally Championship driver Fredrik Åhlin. Her mother Susanne Kottulinksy was also an ERC regular in the 1980’s.
JBXE team founder Jenson Button said that Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s experience with the Odyssey 21 as well as the tires was a key aspect of her joining the team.
“She brings with her some fantastic experience behind the wheel and her work with Continental and Extreme E to this point clearly demonstrates what an asset she will be to the team.
“In Mikaela I also have no doubt we have an incredibly valuable ambassador to represent JBXE, and Extreme E as a whole, in the fight to raise awareness of climate change and to help implement the Extreme E Legacy Programme projects along the way.”
Extreme E grid:
Abt Cupra XE: Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen
Acci0na Sainz XE: Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz
Andretti United: Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Chip Ganassi: Sara Price / Kyle LeDuc
Hispano-Suiza: Oliver Bennett / Christine Zonca
JBXE: Jenson Button / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
Rosberg Xtreme Racing: Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Veloce Racing: Jamie Chadwick / Stéphane Sarrazin
Team X44: Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutitérrez