Ex-Formula 1 Williams and Ferrari driver Felipe Massa will switch to Formula E for the 2018/19 season with a three-year contract with Venturi.
The Monegasque team currently fields Mercedes factory drivers Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara, who are both lined up for a move to the recently-announced newcomer to the series, HWA AG, which will use Venturi powertrains for its inaugural season.
Massa has been linked with a Formula E move since his first Formula 1 retirement at the end of 2016 with Jaguar, and was seen in the paddock in Rome.
“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,” Massa said.
“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. “
“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 front runners.”
Venturi recently announced its Next Gen driver development programme, which headlines Sauber F1 driver Charles Leclerc’s brother Arthur and Formula Renault 2.0 champion Michael Benyahia, who tested for Venturi during pre-season testing.
It is expected that one of the Next Gen members will be Massa’s team-mate next season, which will be the first year of the Gen2 car which can complete a full race distance without a mid-race car swap.
“It’s an honour to welcome Felipe to the Venturi family. I needed him, his experience, his speed, and his openness,” Gildo Pastor said.
“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.”
Massa will get his first Formula E outing when the team commences its allocated 15 days of private testing at the end of May.
Hey guys i’m very happy to announce that today i am starting a new phase in my career, i Just Sign with @VenturiGP team to race next season @FIAFormulaE It is a very special day for me and i would like to share with all of you who always have been supporting me. #ABBFormulaE pic.twitter.com/tIcjn5yQ6m
— Felipe Massa (@MassaFelipe19) May 15, 2018