2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has joined the Extreme E grid as both a team owner and a driver.

The Briton has launched his own team - JBXE - and will race for the outfit during Extreme E’s inaugural season which gets underway in April in Saudi Arabia.

Button is now the third F1 champion to start his own team in the all-electric SUV off-road racing series, but unlike Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, he will actually be competing.

The new Williams F1 team senior advisor is yet to confirm which female driver will be partnering him at his JBXE squad, which becomes the 10th team to enter Extreme E.

"JBXE has been a long time coming and I'm both delighted and proud to announce its formation and entry into the inaugural Extreme E Championship.  

“I caught the off-road bug a few years back, which led to me entering my own team in a few races including the Mint 400 and even the Baja 1000 and I absolutely loved it!  

“It was around the same time I first heard about the plans for Extreme E, which I've followed with great interest, and what Alejandro, Ali [Russell, XE chief marketing officer] and the team have managed to create is nothing short of incredible. 

“In Extreme E, they've created a product that will offer first-class racing and entertainment to the fans, but also serves to highlight the impact of climate change.  

“While we will of course compete to win on track, as a collective we will also work to maximise awareness while racing in places that have been damaged or affected by climate change over the years.  

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“Alongside the awareness piece, Extreme E themselves are committing legacy initiatives at each destination which help protect already damaged ecosystems impacted by climate change.

“On track I’m delighted to say there are some world class opponents to go wheel-to-wheel with and Extreme E is a world-first which sees true equality with male and female drivers both as teammates and as opponents out on track,” he added.

“On that note I still have the exciting task of appointing and announcing my co-driver which will take place in the coming weeks and then all focus will turn to the opening race in Saudi Arabia.”

Extreme E founder and Formula E co-creater Alejandro Agag added: “I’m thrilled to welcome another major name in the world of motorsport in Jenson Button. He is one of the most popular drivers in the business and Extreme E will give him the opportunity to live out one of his long-held passions, to compete at the highest level in off-road racing.

“Jenson, alongside his peers, will give further weight to our mission to raise awareness of the global climate crisis, while doing what we love – racing. It’s going to be fantastic to see the biggest names in motorsport on the starting line in Saudi Arabia in April – it is set to be an incredible form of entertainment, but with a strong and purposeful message around our planet.”