Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa will join the Venturi Formula E team from the 2018/19 season, having signed a three-year deal with them. Massa, who has won 11 grand prix races during his career in F1, has previously tested for the Jaguar Formula E squad and recently visited the electric series at its inaugural event in Rome.
The 37-year-old had earlier hinted that he would "perhaps" be racing in Formula E next season. He will complete a private test session with the team's VFE 05 gen-2 car in the coming weeks. "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. I can't wait to take part in testing at the end of the month. Gildo [Pastor, Venturi president] has always been a step ahead when it comes to high performance electricity vehicles. The team is in a phase of growth and development. I'll do everything I can to contribute to the project and hopefully, I'll be among the frontrunners."
"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-year [racing] 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," he went on to say.
Venturi is currently 7th in the 2017/18 FE teams' standings and fields Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara. The latter will be replaced by Tom Dillmann for this weekend's race in Berlin due to a clash with Mortara's Mercedes DTM programme.
It was earlier announced that the Monaco-based electric vehicle manufacturer would supply its season five gen-2 car to the HWA entry that is joining the Formula E grid, next season.