Edoardo Mortara will be a more potent threat in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship next season because it will be his only program, according to Venturi team principal Susie Wolff.
Mortara, who finished 13th in the Season Four standings, was forced to miss the rounds at Berlin and New York City because of clashing commitments between Formula E and his DTM role with Mercedes.
However, Mercedes’ withdrawal from DTM at the end of this year means that Mortara now only has one confirmed program in the works.
Wolff, who became Venturi team principal earlier this year, said that getting Mortara signed up to stay with the team for his second season was a priority.
“I think it will be quite a bit different for Edo next season with it being his sole focus and championship because it wasn’t easy last season I believe splitting the programs for him,” Wolff told e-racing365.
“We wanted to get a combination in the team that worked the best and we felt that joining Edo with Felipe was the strongest option.
“We had quite a few other options but in the end, it was fantastic to get it over the line with him.
“Not only is Edo very quick but he brings a lot on the technical side of things too. For me, it was only drivers with Formula E experience that came into the frame.”
Wolff believes that Mortara’s retention will benefit his new team-mate Felipe Massa, who is preparing for his Formula E debut with the Monegasque team.
“Felipe has so much experience in motorsport generally but Formula E is such a challenging environment,” she said.
“And to be fair to Felipe, he doesn’t underestimate that challenge as he has been working very, very hard to get ready for season five.”
New Test/Reserve Driver to be Announced
Wolff also confirmed that Venturi will employ a new test and reserve driver for Season Five, having used multiple drivers in the past.
Among those was 18-year-old Moroccan racer Michael Benyahia, who took part in last year’s rookie test session in Marrakesh.
The team also has its own academy called Venturi Next Gen, which includes Arthur Leclerc – the brother of current Sauber F1 driver Charles – and Formula 2 racer Dorian Boccolacci.
“I’ve formed a complete team together behind the scenes because I think it is important to have in place a good simulator and test driver too,” said Wolff.
“I think we will show we have a good young driver who will be a huge asset to the team for the future. We will announce in the next few weeks.”