Venturi has confirmed that it has become a customer team and will be supplied by Mercedes as it enters a new phase of its Formula E program this season.
The Monegasque team will cease to be a recognized manufacturer of its own powertrain for the coming 2019-20 season and has a long-term agreement to utilize customer Mercedes-Benz EQ powertrains.
E-racing365 understands that a deal for Venturi to have Mercedes customer status has been agreed for a significant period of time and a delegate from them has not attended the last two Technical Working Groups.
Additionally, the development of its 2018-19 package, which it worked on with the ZF Group and supplied to Mercedes’ Season Five sleeper team HWA Racelab, ceased development at an early stage in last season’s campaign.
The agreement will see the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team supply the cooling system, rear frame, rear suspension, dampers, software, onboard electronics and wiring looms, as well as the new powertrain (inverter, motor, rear axle components and energy management software), which has been designed and developed at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.
“We are proud to welcome Mercedes-Benz to the Venturi family as our powertrain partner for Season Six,” said Gildo Pastor, President, Venturi Automobiles.
“Pairing our experience in high-performing electric vehicles with the racing pedigree of Mercedes is a significant step towards strengthening our position in a racing formula that is becoming ever-more competitive.”
Venturi has been testing with the Mercedes EQ Formula E team in recent weeks with the two entities sharing test days. Manufacturers that supply customer teams are able to offer testing time within their agreements and receive an additional seven days on top of the regular 15 manufacturer test day allocation.
The Venturi entry, previously known as the Venturi Formula E team, will now be known as Venturi Racing.
This, according to Venturi Racing team principal Susie Wolff, is to distinguish it from Venturi’s other projects which include all-electric land speed record programs and an EV explorer initiative.
“We thought [the name change] was more fitting because Gildo has ambitious plans for the future in land speed records and it just clearly defines between the racing and the more automobile-based side,” Wolff told e-racing365.
The boss of the highly influential Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains division says that having two additional cars on the Formula E grid will accelerate the development of the manufacturer’s first all-electric racing powertrain.
“We are taking the expertize we’ve built up over the last decade and applying it to the new challenge of Formula E,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.
“Working together with Venturi Racing, we will be able to increase our rate of learning in our debut season, and what’s more, with a well-established team, who have been part of the series since the very first year.
“The lessons learned and the technologies we are working on at the race track will also be incorporated into the development of road-going vehicles over time, so the entire Mercedes-Benz family will benefit as a result.”
E-racing365 revealed in May that Edoardo Mortara and Felipe Massa would continue to be race drivers for Venturi this season.