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Venturi Ambition Key Reason for Massa Signing

Felipe Massa says he was convinced to sign with Venturi due to its technical ambition…

Photo: Formula E

New ABB FIA Formula E Championship driver Felipe Massa joined Venturi because of its technical capabilities and willingness to expand its engineering team, he has revealed.

The Brazilian told media at the recent Zurich E-Prix that he spoke to several teams but decided on a making his Formula E debut with the Monegasque squad due to its desire to progress in the all-electric series.

“Venturi was pushing really hard to have me in the team,” said Massa.

“I was talking with a few teams in order to hear, to understand, to see definitely what was happening.

“I started to listen to all the ideas they have for the future in terms of developing the car and about trying to be bigger than what they are.”

Venturi has expanded its technical team in recent seasons with Massa’s former engineer at Sauber, Jacky Eeckelhaert, joining the team from Dragon Racing last year.

“It was clear that they want to be more of a top team than they are now working on so many different areas in the car and I found that quite interesting,” said Massa.

“Now it is a new car, in a way not completely new, as many teams, especially the bigger ones, already have some ideas on how to develop the car, but it is certainly a new challenge for everybody.”

The Brazilian admitted that Venturi’s pitch to him was a factor in choosing the team, which along with Jaguar, is the only team yet to win a Formula E race.

“I think that all the ideas that Venturi is putting on the table is on the technical side, I was happy to see that,” said the 11-time Grand Prix winner.

“This is one most important reason why I decided to sign with them.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. krisg

    June 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

    About Venturi, the company started producing sport-cars to challenge Ferrari and Porsche in the nineties and it was quite successful with many victories in GT championships at the time. In 2001 after been bought by Gildo Pallanca Pastor the company changed focus and started to invest in EV technology. Nowadays the company is responsible to convert Citroen Berlingos and Renault Kangoos to electric powertrains sold to many European governments. Next season Venturi will provide its electric powertrain to HWA that in two years time will become the Mercedes works team. Personally I do believe that after 2020 Venturi can become a consumer team and make use Mercedes’ electric powertrain.

    Felipe Massa is well known to be good at setup a racing car, reason why he was a good asset at Williams until the team decided to look only to their spreadsheet balance for the 2018 F1 campaign, and reason why Venturi made a better offer to have him. Many ex-F1 drivers tried FE but didn’t succeed because they didn’t dedicate enough time to the challenge, the learning curve can prove to be very high as FE cars aren’t easy to drive as many do think. Massa chose Venturi because a three years deal can give him the necessary time to adapt which will build his confidence in his FE career. It was a wise move, better than make a short year only deal with a bigger team and get frustrated because the short period to produce results.

    • Edward Hunter

      June 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

      I think that’s inaccurate. Massa retired because he was fed up of waiting for Williams to make their decision; they didn’t sack him. Infact they would probably have picked Massa over Sirotkin had they realised a bit earlier that Kubica isn’t the driver that he used to be.

      Venturi seems like an= slightly odd choice for Felipe in all honesty, but I can see why he’d pick a smaller family team, especially with Eeckelhaert there from his Sauber days.

  2. Old Trombone

    June 19, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Venturi would have won the 1st-ever ePrix of all time with Heidfeld … if Nico Prost has been proper. They got robbed of another one soon after as well.

    • Nicolas Naves

      June 19, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Buenos Aires??

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