Former F1 driver Felipe Massa will be the latest ex-Formula One recruit to join the Formula E bandwagon. The Brazilian veteran has signed for the Venturi Formula E team for season five of the championship.
Massa retired from F1 at the end of the 2017 season after agreeing to stick around for one more year. Initially, his retirement was slated for 2016, but Valtteri Bottas’ sudden move to Mercedes and a vacant seat at Williams saw him don the overalls again.
When he retired for good, he had amassed 1,167 points, 41 podiums and 11 wins in F1. The 37-year old will make his debut in the all-electric series later this year when season five gets underway.
The Venturi team has been in Formula E since the inaugural 2014/2015 season and has scored three podiums in its entire career. Their 3 podiums have come from Nick Heidfeld, Stephane Sarrazin and Edoardo Mortara. Heidfeld, currently racing for Mahindra, scored a 3rd in the inaugural season in Moscow. Sarrazin’s went one better in season 2 and Mortara equalled that feat in season 4. In fact, Mortara was in the lead but spun and settled for 2nd. Though later, the winner, Daniel Abt was disqualified for a technical infringement.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Venturi Formula E Team and the ABB FIA Formula E championship, which has become a magnificent competition in such a short space of time,” Massa said.
The ABB Formula E Championship is currently in its fourth season. The all-electric sport has used the same single-make chassis since its inception in 2014. However, for the 2018/2019 season, the sport unveiled a Gen 2 car. It will hit the streets for the first time and will coincide with a step forward in battery technology.
This technology will allow drivers to complete a full race distance without the need for a car swap midway through.
The Venturi team is co-owned by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and is based in Monaco.