Recently confirmed Venturi driver Maro Engel believes the team can deliver surprise results in Season Four.
The German, who will undertake a second season with the Monegasque squad, teams up with DTM stablemate Edoardo Mortara for the upcoming season.
Engel has also stated that he always intended to see out a second season at Venturi, the team with which he scored the majority points from last year’s campaign.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the work we have done all the way through the last year and in the off-season,” Engel told e-racing365.
“We had some really promising pace on occasions last year, but we didn’t manage to materialize as many points as we probably deserved.
“From an early stage, my aim was to stay with Venturi and build upon the relationship we have had for over a year now.
“We weren’t able to show the improvements we have worked hard for in Valencia. If we manage to hit our target of stronger reliability, then we will be good for a few surprises.”
While Engel wouldn’t comment on any HWA or Mercedes-related matters, e-racing365 has discovered that both the German and his new teammate have received an allowance to race for Venturi from the manufacturer.
This status is purely as sole and independent parties rather than any formal and direct agreement between Mercedes and Venturi regarding the drivers.
A clearer picture of when HWA could race in Formula E should materialize, internally at least, before Hong Kong, while a public issuing of the plans to possibly come early next year.
Discussions are still on-going as to how the Mercedes-affiliated organization will conduct a Formula E program.
It’s believed the two options are a partnership with Venturi, or what now appears to be the more likely scenario of a bespoke entry with a customer powertrain, effectively becoming a Mercedes ‘Sleeper Team’ for Season Five only.
Engel and Mortara will “Push Team Forward”
Engel said that new teammate Mortara will push the team forward as it looks to recover from reliability issues in Season Three.
Venturi finished ninth, second-from-last, in the standings, with a best result of fifth place, by Engel, at Monaco.
The German driver believes that despite a fraught test at Valencia, where a faulty batch of gearbox components curtailed their running, the team will be on target come Hong Kong.
“I know Edo very well and have done for a long-time,” said Engel. “He is a very strong opponent and I am looking forward to working with him. We will push each other forward and get the most out of it for Venturi.”
Engel also praised the ZF Group, which will take on more technical responsibility this season, with the aim to improve gearbox reliability.
“Throughout the pre-season tests before Valencia we were happy with progress on the gearbox,” he said. “ZF Group has a tremendous pedigree in international motorsport and has done for many years. Having them on our side can only be a positive.”
Venturi will also have a restructured engineering team, with Jacky Eeckelaert joining the team to supervise both cars in an overarching role.