Felipe Massa signs three-year Venturi Formula E deal
Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has signed a three-year deal with Venturi Formula E and will join the Monegasque outfit later this year for the start of Season Five.
Holding a long and distinguished career that boasts a large amount of experience, Massa competed in Formula 1 for a total of 15 seasons in which the Brazilian racer contested 270 grands prix, taking 11 race wins, 41 podiums and 16 pole positions.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Venturi Formula E Team and the Formula E championship, which has become a magnificent competition in such a short space of time," said Massa.
"For some years now, I’ve been clear about my interest in this innovative, forward-looking discipline that’s developing exponentially. I especially like the format of race meetings, the city-centre circuits and the contact with the fans."
Massa will get his first taste of Venturi's Gen2 'VFE 05' machine later this month where he will participate in a private test session.
"I can’t wait to take part in testing at the end of the month. [Venturi President] Gildo [Pastor] has always been a step ahead when it comes to high performance electricity vehicles. The team is in a phase of growth and development," he added.
"I’ll do everything I can to contribute to the project and hopefully I’ll be among the front runners."
The signing of Massa is the latest link in a long chain of developments for Venturi, with the squad entering a collaboration with HWA AG in the later stages of 2017.
“It’s an honour to welcome Felipe to the Venturi family," said Pastor. "I needed him, his experience, his speed, and his openness.
"Formula E is extremely complex to set up and drive. Even more so than in other disciplines, teamwork between the driver and the engineering team is one of the keys to success.
"Felipe’s 15 years’ experience in Formula 1 will definitely give us a boost. And with his humble nature, I know he will listen to the team and master the discipline quickly.”
After eight races in Season Four, Venturi sit in seventh in the Teams' Championship through the efforts of Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara, with the team's best finish coming from the opening weekend of the season in Hong Kong where Mortara claimed second place.
With HWA AG joining the Season Five grid and through Engel and Mortara's affiliations with Mercedes AMG, it is unknown who will partner Massa next season, with Tom Dillmann standing in for Mortara at this weekend's Berlin E-Prix while reserve driver Michael Benyahia has been vocal about wanting to join the all-electric single seater series next season.